senate education committee

Courtney Salas-Ford and Andrés Rhodes sitting at a table

Arkansas school voucher program rules clear first legislative hurdle

BY: - July 17, 2023

The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee on Monday recommended approval of proposed emergency rules that will govern the state’s new school voucher program. The recommendation will next be considered by the Arkansas Legislative Council’s executive subcommittee Thursday.  Created under the LEARNS Act, the Educational Freedom Account program provides up to 90% of the annual per-student funding […]

Arkansas Senate panel OKs tweaked bill barring implicit bias training in schools

BY: - March 29, 2023

A state Senate committee on Wednesday approved a new version of the bill that aims to prohibit public schools and colleges from requiring employees to participate in implicit bias training. House Bill 1559 prohibits schools from taking “adverse employment action” against an employee who fails or refuses to participate in implicit bias training. The State […]

Proposed restrictions on transgender pronouns in Arkansas schools head to Senate floor

BY: - March 29, 2023

The Arkansas Senate will consider requiring public school teachers and professors to use the pronouns and names students were assigned at birth unless parents specifically allow them to do otherwise. House Bill 1468 would require written permission from a minor’s parent or guardian for school employees to use any “pronoun or title that is inconsistent” […]

Bill allowing malpractice suits for transgender minors’ health care goes to Sanders’ desk

BY: - March 8, 2023

A proposed law that would open the door for medical malpractice lawsuits against Arkansas doctors who provide gender-affirming care to transgender minors passed the House on Wednesday and will go to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ desk. Senate Bill 199 would create civil liability for a doctor who “performs a gender transition procedure on a minor […]

Bill restricting school bathroom use heads to Arkansas Senate floor

BY: - February 15, 2023

A proposed law to restrict bathroom use in public schools based on students’ sex assigned at birth passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday and will head to the Senate, the only remaining hurdle before going to the governor’s desk. House Bill 1156 applies to multiple-occupancy restrooms and locker rooms, as well as rooms for […]

Arkansas Secretary of Education nominee Jacob Oliva

Oliva selected as new K-12 education commissioner

BY: - January 12, 2023

The State Board of Education unanimously elected Arkansas’ new education secretary as the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner on Thursday. The board unanimously selected Jacob Oliva following an executive session at its regularly scheduled meeting.  “I am honored to receive the board’s approval today, and I look forward to […]

Sen. Missy Irvin speaks into a microphone in the Arkansas Senate chambers

Arkansas Senate panel recommends plan to increase teacher pay, create task force

BY: - October 18, 2022

The Arkansas Senate education committee on Tuesday approved recommendations that include additional money for increased teacher salaries and merit-based pay.  The proposal also includes a recommendation to create a legislative task force to study education funding outside of the adequacy review process. “Overall, the report is focused on moving from adequacy to excellence by focusing […]

Reps. Brian Evans, DeAnn Vaught and Les Warren

Arkansas House panel recommends public school funding plan that includes teacher raises

BY: - October 4, 2022

The Arkansas House and Senate education committees on Tuesday split on supporting public school funding recommendations that include additional money for increased teacher salaries.  In a voice vote, the House Education Committee approved the proposal while Senators opposed it. The proposed funding formula, called the matrix, approved by House committee members Tuesday would increase funding […]