Author

Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is a multimedia journalist who has reported since 2007 on a wide range of topics, including politics, health, education, immigration and the arts for NPR affiliates, print publications and digital platforms. A University of Arkansas alumna, she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a master’s degree in documentary film.

Novella Humphrey, Rep. Julie Mayberry

Panel approves removing limit on transfer cap for pre-k alum

By: - February 7, 2023

The House Education Committee approved on Tuesday a proposal to remove a cap on school choice transfers when a student has attended pre-K in a nonresident school district. Sponsored by Rep. Julie Mayberry (R-Hensley), House Bill 1185 seeks to amend the Public School Choice Act of 2015, which limits more than 3% of a school […]

University of Arkansas at Little Rock researchers Ronald Thompson and Andrew James

UAMS researchers test app designed to prevent opioid use relapse

By: - February 6, 2023

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researchers have developed an award-winning smartphone app designed to decrease opioid cravings and optimize medication-assisted treatment for people with opioid use disorder.  Supported by a $2.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the research team is testing the effectiveness of OptiMAT (Optimizing Medication Assisted Treatment) among […]

Jonesboro High School volleyball coach C.C. Smith

Teachers, students voice support for AP African American Studies course

By: - February 3, 2023

If C.C. Smith had had access to an African American history class as a kid, the self-described history nut said he “would’ve ate it up.”  Smith said he learned much from his father, “an expert on the Delta” and professor emeritus at Arkansas State University where he was the school’s first African American faculty member. […]

Sen. Dan Sullivan

Higher education free expression bill halted in committee

By: - February 1, 2023

After an hour of debate among Senate Education Committee members on Wednesday, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) pulled down a bill he said was designed to protect free expression on college campuses.  “The intent of the bill is to allow students to be expressive and we’re seeing a lot of bills now that seek to restrict […]

Sen. Tyler Dees

Senate approves bill requiring pornography sites to verify age

By: - February 1, 2023

The Arkansas Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to require pornography websites to verify users’ ages. Sen. Tyler Dees (R-Siloam Springs) first introduced the bill in committee Tuesday, saying the purpose of the legislation is to protect minors from harmful material online. Senate Bill 66 defines “material harmful to minors” as material that’s designed to appeal […]

Sen. Tyler Dees

Proposed bill would require age verification on pornography websites

By: - January 31, 2023

A Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill to require age verification for online material that’s harmful to minors, such as pornography.  Adult-oriented businesses are typically regulated with an age verification process, and that same standard must be applied to online materials, Senate Bill 66 sponsor Sen. Tyler Dees (R-Siloam Springs) told Senate Committee on […]

Sen. Greg Leding, Rep. Tippi McCullough

Democrats file legislation to increase pay for Arkansas teachers, school staff

By: - January 26, 2023

Arkansas Democrats filed bills on Thursday to raise minimum salaries for teachers to $50,000 a year and for classified staff to $15 an hour. Sponsored by House Minority Leader Rep. Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock), the Raising Arkansas’s Investment in Schools and Educators (RAISE) Act calls for an immediate $10,000 raise for all full-time teachers. The […]

Wastewater bill exempts some Arkansas POAs/HOAs from wastewater trust fund

By: - January 25, 2023

The Arkansas House approved a bill that would exempt communities with 5,000 or more residents from annual contributions to a nonmunicipal sewage treatment fund. HB1015 amends the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act to create an exemption for property owners’ associations and homeowners’ associations that operate nonmunicipal domestic sewage treatment systems that service a […]

Sen. Jonathan Dismang

Executive order further delays ARPA funds distribution

By: - January 25, 2023

An executive order from Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders prompted the withdrawal Wednesday of more than a dozen requests for federal pandemic relief funds that had been pending for months on a legislative panel’s agenda. The order issued Tuesday by Sanders abolished the ARPA Steering Committee and the Governor’s Infrastructure Planning Advisory Committee. The steering committee’s […]

Jack Waksal, born in 1924 and a survivor of the Holocaust's forced labor camps, visits the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach, Florida, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, 2022. An Arkansas legislative committee approved a bill on Jan. 25, 2023, that would establish Holocaust Education Week in Arkansas public schools. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Arkansas schools would observe Holocaust Education Week if bill becomes law

By: - January 25, 2023

The Senate Education Committee approved a bill on Wednesday to establish Holocaust Education Week in Arkansas public schools.  Sponsored by Sen. Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville), SB68 amends state law that requires Holocaust education to designate the last full week of classes in January as Holocaust Education Week. If approved, the State Board of Education would be […]

Committee approves education bills addressing school choice, GED merit

By: - January 24, 2023

The House Education Committee approved two bills on Tuesday, including one that would allow a student who resides on a tract of land located in two school districts to choose which district they want to attend.  Under current law, if the school district line cuts through a home, where the majority of the house sits […]

Drag performer Athena Sinclair speaks to journalists after speaking against SB43 during a senate committee hearing Thursday morning, Jan. 19, 2023. Senate Bill SB43 would define "a drag performance" as an adult-oriented business. The bill passed through committee with a recommendation for approval by the full Senate. (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate/01/19/2023)

SESSION SNAPSHOT: Culture wars and the first bills of the Arkansas legislative session

By: and - January 20, 2023

Week two of the Arkansas General Assembly has come to an end, and it feels like the session is now actually underway. Thursday had it all: a tense committee hearing on a divisive social issue, a school choice rally, a rally in support of drag performers and action on dozens of bills destined to become […]