LEARNS Act

aka: Act 237 of 2023

The LEARNS Act (Act 237 of 2023) was the signature piece of legislation promoted by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders during the 2023 session of the Arkansas General Assembly, her first session as governor of the state.

After her election, Sanders indicated that her top priority would be a bill to change the public elementary and secondary education system in the state. On February 8, 2023, she held a press conference at the Arkansas State Capitol together with various Republican Party officials to announce some of the basics of her plan, which was still being drafted in secret. These included: a starting teacher pay set at $50,000, the creation of a voucher program (called “education freedom accounts”) that could be used to pay for tuition at a private school, twelve weeks of maternity leave for teachers, bonuses for select teachers, programs to increase literacy, the repeal of the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, and the requirement that poorly performing public school districts partner with a charter school. Sanders described the plan as “the most far-reaching, bold, conservative education reform in America.”

While Republicans nearly unanimously lined up in support of the plan, Democrats in the legislature were unanimously opposed to it, noting that they had attempted to pass, earlier in the session, a straight teacher salary increase, with no support from Republicans. Specifically, the voucher program came under early scrutiny by educators and other groups, such as the Arkansas Public Policy Panel (APPP), Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, the Little Rock (Pulaski County) branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Little Rock Education Association (LREA). However, the Arkansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative/libertarian think tank founded by the billionaire Koch brothers, came out in full support of the legislation, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published editorials praising it. Representative Jim Wooten of Beebe (White County), a rare Republican opponent of vouchers for private schools, filed two bills before the LEARNS Act was itself formally released, requiring that 1) private schools accepting state funding conduct student assessment tests, and 2) private schools provide transportation to students within a thirty-five-mile radius of their campus. Neither bill advanced out of committee.

The following week, many educators from around the state began showing up at the Arkansas State Capitol to voice their concerns regarding the proposed plan. Writing for the Arkansas Times, Baker Kurrus—who had overseen the Little Rock School District after it was taken over by the state during the administration of Governor Asa Hutchinson, and then was fired following his criticism of charter schools—noted that most of the voucher money would go to students already in private schools, which would drain resources from public schools: “There are well over 10,000 students in Central Arkansas in private schools. That’s some $64 million in new spending a year in Pulaski County alone.” The main problem in education disparity, he added, was economic segregation. Representative Bruce Cozart, who would eventually vote for the LEARNS Act, was reported as saying in a conversation with educators, “The rich want vouchers. That’s who this legislation is for. The rich. They want it and they are going to get it.”

Senator Breanne Davis of Russellville (Pope County) formally filed the LEARNS Act, SB294, late in the afternoon on Monday, February 20, 2023, with numerous Republican co-sponsors in the Senate and House. (The acronym LEARNS stands for Literacy, Empowerment, Accountability, Readiness, Networking, and Safety.) Despite the bill being 144 pages in length, Republicans planned a vote on it in the Senate Committee on Education on Wednesday, February 22, provoking a protest from Democrats, who insisted that time (more than one business day) was needed to read such a lengthy bill and prepare for any thoughtful discussion of it. Many educators wondered how the bill would fit with the Arkansas Constitution’s requirement that the state “maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of free public schools and…adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education,” especially in the light of Arkansas Supreme Court precedents such as Lake View v. Huckabee. (Interviewed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Theresa Hall, superintendent of Catholic schools in Arkansas, objected to any attempt to amend the bill in such a way as to require that private schools accepting vouchers also accept all students who apply.) Despite acknowledgements that the bill would require amendments, SB294 passed quickly through committee on February 22 and proceeded to a full vote in the Senate the following day, where it passed 25–7, with only Republican Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana (Miller County) voting with all Democrats against the bill.

Approximately ninety members of the public showed up to testify before the House Education Committee on February 28, 2023. The committee passed the bill the following day, and on March 2, 2023, the full House voted 78–21 for the LEARNS Act. The yes votes were exclusively Republican. Three Republicans did vote against the bill—Hope Duke of Gravette (Benton County), Julie Mayberry of Hensley (Pulaski County), and Jim Wooten of Beebe —while another Republican, Ron McNair of Harrison (Boone County), voted present. Rep. Wooten, prior to the vote, claimed that certain House members had been threatened with the withholding of funding from their districts (or with primary elections) should they not vote for the bill.

On March 3, 2023, students at Little Rock Central High School, of which Gov. Sanders is an alumna, held a mass walk-out to protest the bill; the event attracted national attention. Before the walkout, a group of students had issued a letter protesting the bill and Sanders’s invocation of Central High to advance her agenda. More than 1,000 students participated, many of them decrying the bill’s ban on “critical race theory,” a previously obscure academic theory that had, since 2020, become a conservative bugbear across the nation, with many Republican governors attacking it as “indoctrination.” Bans on critical race theory had been employed, as in Florida, to limit classroom discussion on different aspects of African American history.

Sanders signed the bill into law on March 8, 2023, at a ceremony in the Arkansas State Capitol, where she was surrounded by students from Calvary Academy, a private school affiliated with First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), founded with the mission of providing an “education founded upon the Bible.” Students from Central High School protested at the capitol after the signing ceremony.

After the law had been signed, concerns about its contents increased. For example, it was noted by many superintendents that the law, so far as the base pay of $50,000 was concerned, made no distinction for teachers working on extended contracts. Second, no funding was offered for raising the salaries of teachers funded by federal title funds, leaving school districts to make up the gap. Third, the law was criticized for providing no funding for additional teaching positions in growing school districts. Fourth, the lack of funding for merit-based raises (depending upon years of service, advanced degrees, etc.) was regarded as making $50,000 not only a minimum salary but also functionally a maximum salary. This concern was realized at Dermott (Chicot County), for one, where the school district posted a new salary schedule for the first year under the law that had a maximum salary of $51,975 for a teacher with a master’s degree and eighteen years experience, only $1,975 above the minimum. Finally, the text of the law states, “For the 2023–2024 school year, each teacher shall be paid a salary that is at least two thousand dollars ($2,000) greater than his or her current salary as of September 1, 2022.” This raised questions as to whether teachers in high-paying districts who move, during this time, to low-paying districts would continue to receive their higher salary, as well as whether the salary bump applies only to that specific school year.

On April 9, 2023, the Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students (CAPES) began the process of working to get on the next ballot a referendum that would repeal the LEARNS Act. Attorney General Tim Griffin rejected proposed ballot titles twice before, on June 5, 2023, approving the group’s ballot language for the referendum for the second time. (The Arkansas General Assembly had passed a bill during 2023 increasing the number of counties from which signatures would have to be collected from fifteen to fifty, which added an extra challenge to the efforts of CAPES.) During their signature-collection effort, members of CAPES reported that many teachers feared that signing the petition might result in their dismissal, given that the LEARNS Act repealed the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, while others working for either the state or for companies with state contracts feared endangering their own jobs. On July 31, 2023, CAPES submitted its signatures to the Secretary of State‘s office. On August 4, 2023, Secretary of State John Thurston announced that CAPES had fallen short of the required signatures by fewer than 1,000.

The Arkansas Department of Education distributed a fifteen-page document dated May 3, 2023, to education leadership presenting a draft statement of assurance, intended to be signed each year by superintendents, stating that districts comply with orders set down in the LEARNS Act, such as the prohibition of so-called indoctrination and the teaching of critical race theory. In May 2023, state lawmakers approved the reallocation of $34.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to support the hiring of literacy coaches and tutors pursuant to the LEARNS Act.

Phillips County residents and school advocates filed a suit on May 8, 2023, to challenge the LEARNS Act. They announced their intention to stop a charter school group from taking over the MarvellElaine School District, on the grounds that the LEARNS Act had not yet taken effect, so the state could not use the law to take over the district. The lawsuit centered around the constitutional requirement that votes on emergency clauses be taken separately from the bill itself, which did not occur, calling into question whether the act could yet be enforced. They also argued that the LEARNS Act should not go into effect while litigation moved forward. Later that month, the state Department of Education fired the majority of the school district staff, sending affected staff letters inviting them to apply for a position with the Friendship Education Foundation, the charter management group that had secured the contract with the state to oversee district operations. On May 26, 2023, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright issued a temporary restraining order, halting the implementation of the act until a later hearing could determine whether votes for the act were taken properly. The state sought an emergency stay of the temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of the LEARNS Act, but on June 2, 2023, the Supreme Court of Arkansas denied the request. Griffin filed a brief on June 6, 2023, claiming that the law was protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. On June 15, 2023, the Arkansas Supreme Court did vacate the temporary retraining order that had blocked the implementation of LEARNS but did not rule on the larger merits of the case. However, on June 30, 2023, Judge Wright ruled that the emergency clause of the LEARNS Act was not voted upon in accordance with the state constitution, thus blocking the state from immediately enforcing the act until August 1, 2023, the effective date for the law in the absence of an emergency clause. In response, the attorney general, Tim Griffin, again filed an appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court while also insisting that the act could continue to be implemented, in apparent defiance of Wright’s ruling. Despite this proclamation, the state Board of Education, meeting on July 7, 2023, voted to take control of the Marvel-Elaine district, firing the superintendent and dissolving the school board, until August 1, when the LEARNS Act would be in effect, upon which date the district could be handed over to the control of the Friendship Education Foundation. On October 12, 2023, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned Judge Wright’s ruling, concluding that legislators broke no law with regard to how votes were recorded on the emergency clause.

On July 17, 2023, state lawmakers endorsed emergency rules for the voucher program created by the LEARNS Act while the Arkansas Department of Education continues work on permanent rules for school vouchers. By late July 2023, more than eighty schools had applied to participate in the state voucher program, many of which had raised their tuition rates in anticipation.

Controversy about LEARNS reached the national level when, on August 11, 2023, the Arkansas Department of Education revoked state approval of an Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies, less than three full days before the start of the school year. On August 14, 2023, department officials issued a statement asserting that the course likely violated provisions in the LEARNS Act against “indoctrination” by teaching “prohibited topics,” adding that teachers who continued the course risked violating state law. All six schools scheduled to participate in the pilot program for this AP course opted to continue with it, in response to which Jacob Oliva, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Education, demanded that those schools submit course materials to the ADE that they might be examined for breaches of the law. Five of the Little Rock Nine publicly lambasted the state’s opposition to this AP course, describing it as a “shameful attempt to erase Black history and silence Black voices in a state that has a rich and complex legacy of racial struggle and triumph.” Following an August 23, 2023, meeting with state legislators, ADE officials insisted that they had no intention of taking away the AP course.

By September 20, 2023, there were a reported 4,795 students across the state using vouchers at private schools, at a projected cost of $32.5 million in public funding. The first report on the law’s voucher program revealed that ninety-five percent of the students enrolled did not attend public schools the previous school year, meaning that the overwhelming majority of students receiving vouchers were already enrolled in private schools. Moreover, those students were geographically concentrated in central and northwestern Arkansas. By early June 2024, 106 private schools had so far been approved to participate in the voucher program, and 6,171 students had been approved to receive vouchers for the upcoming year, while 4,956 who had used vouchers the previous school year indicated that they would be continuing to do so the following year.

On March 1, 2024, Attorney General Griffin approved the popular name and ballot title for the Educational Rights Amendment of 2024, a measure advanced by the organization For AR Kids, a coalition including the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, the Arkansas Conference of the NAACP, and the Arkansas Education Association, among other organizations. The proposed amendment would require that private schools accepting state vouchers meet the same academic standards that public schools are mandated to provide. (CAPES was a founding member of the coalition but left due to worries that the amendment would serve to codify the state’s voucher program.) In response, a number of people affiliated with Gov. Sanders formed groups named Stronger Arkansas and Arkansans for Students and Educators with the aim of defeating the ballot initiative.  Jim Walton, billionaire heir to the Walmart fortune, donated $500,000 to Arkansans for Students and Educators.

On March 25, 2024, a group including a Central High School educator and select students and their parents filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, claiming that the LEARNS Act constituted a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, specifically the ban on alleged “indoctrination.” U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky was assigned the case. Rudofsky soon thereafter revealed that he intended to take advantage of the voucher program for his own family but would not be recusing himself from the case, but he later changed his mind about applying for a voucher for the time being. Other plaintiffs were later added to the case, including the state conference of the NAACP. Arguments in the case were heard on April 30, and on May 7, Judge Rudofsky granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing Section 16, the “indoctrination” section, of the act.

On June 7, 2024, a group of four women (two public school teachers, a college instructor, and an activist) filed a lawsuit challenging the school voucher program as unconstitutional, citing the fact that federal courts had, following the desegregation of Central High School and the later closure of Little Rock public schools (during what was termed the “Lost Year“), barred a scheme advanced by Governor Orval Faubus to fund private schools for students leaving public schools due to integration.

For additional information:
Anderson, Tom. “Arkansas LEARNS Teacher Salaries Are Screwed Up.” Blue Hog Report, March 27, 2023. https://www.bluehogreport.com/2023/03/27/arkansas-learns-teacher-salaries-are-screwed-up/ (accessed April 4, 2023).

Arkansas Learns. Arkansas Department of Education. https://learns.ade.arkansas.gov/ (accessed May 6, 2024).

Bailey, Austin. “The Central Question: Can Arkansas’s Governor Make Black History Disappear?” Arkansas Times, September 2023, pp. 32–36. Online at https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/08/28/the-central-question-can-arkansass-governor-make-black-history-disappear (accessed September 1, 2023).

———. “A Hard Lesson to Learn.” Arkansas Times, April 2023, pp. 23–24. Online at https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/04/10/a-hard-lesson-for-arkansas-to-learn (accessed April 10, 2023).

Bowden, Bill. “State Steps in to Run Marvell School District.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 8, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/08/state-takes-over-marvell-elaine-schools/ (accessed July 10, 2023).

Demaree, Natalie. “A ‘Political Issue’: Arkansas Becomes the Latest State to Target AP African American Studies.” Facing South, September 26, 2023. https://www.facingsouth.org/2023/09/arkansas-florida-sarah-huckabee-sanders-desantis-african-american-studies-education (accessed September 29, 2023).

Diaz, Gennie. “We Crashed a LEARNS Town Hall. It Was Exactly What We Expected.” For AR People, June 14, 2023. https://forarpeople.org/we-crashed-a-learns-town-hall-it-was-exactly-what-we-expected/ (accessed June 15, 2023).

Earley, Neal. “144-Page LEARNS Act Filed in Legislature.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 21, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/21/144-page-learns-act-filed-in-legislature/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Activist Group Seeks Repeal of LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 12, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/12/group-plans-to-pursue-repeal-of-sanders-learns/ (accessed April 12, 2023).

———. “AG Advances LEARNS Act Preparations.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 6, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/06/attorney-general-says-arkansas-moving-forward/ (accessed July 6, 2023).

———. “AG Defends LEARNS Vote.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 29, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/29/ag-defends-learns-vote/ (accessed July 29, 2023).

———. “AG Rejects LEARNS Act Referendum Draft.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 25, 2023, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/25/citing-misleading-language-arkansas-attorney/ (accessed April 25, 2023).

———. “AG Seeks to Expedite LEARNS Case Appeal.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 13, 2023, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/13/arkansas-attorney-general-asks-state-supreme/ (accessed July 13, 2023).

———. “Ballot Bid Resubmitted to Repeal LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 28, 2023, pp. 1B, 8B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/28/group-seeking-repeal-of-sanders-learns-act/ (accessed April 28, 2023).

———. “Ballot Item to Repeal LEARNS Act Rejected Again.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 12, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/12/ballot-language-for-a-proposed-referendum-to/ (accessed May 12, 2023).

———. “Ballot Question Donors Reported.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 17, 2024, pp. 1B, 4B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/may/17/ballot-question-donors-reported/ (accessed May 17, 2024).

———. “CAPES Officials Now Say LEARNS Petition Successful.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 2, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/02/capes-officials-change-course-say-they-have/ (accessed August 2, 2023).

———. “CAPES Pulls out of Ballot Item Coalition.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 4, 2024, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/apr/03/capes-leaves-arkansas-educational-rights/ (accessed April 4, 2024).

———. “Cox Is Special Supreme Court Justice for LEARNS Appeal.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 20, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/20/sanders-appoints-lobbyist-former-ag-chief-of/ (accessed July 20, 2023).

———. “Governor Signs LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 9, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/09/sanders-signs-arkansas-learns-her-education/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Griffin: Block of LEARNS Risks ‘Chaos.'” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 8, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/08/opponents-in-learns-act-case-file-second-set-of/ (accessed June 8, 2023).

———. “Griffin: Block Testimony of 2 in Suit Hearing.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 20, 2023, pp. 1B, 6B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/20/arkansas-attorney-general-attempts-to-block/ (accessed June 20, 2023).

———. “Griffin Certifies Ballot Language on Third Try.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 6, 2023, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/06/attorney-general-approves-wording-of-proposed/ (accessed June 6, 2023).

———. “High Court Maintains Block on LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 3, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/02/arkansas-learns-act-holdup-to-continue-state-supreme-court-rules/ (accessed June 5, 2023).

———. “Hiland: Recusing in Case on LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 15, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/15/new-arkansas-supreme-court-justice-hiland-recuses/ (accessed July 17, 2023).

———. “House Passes Revised School Bill.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 3, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/03/house-passes-amended-education-bill-sends-it-back/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Justices Consider LEARNS Suit Briefs.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 7, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/07/both-sides-submit-arguments-on-order-blocking/ (accessed June 7, 2023).

———. “Lawmakers OK LEARNS Act’s Voucher Rules.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 15, 2024, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/mar/14/legislative-subcommittee-oks-permanent-rules-for/ (accessed March 15, 2024).

———. “LEARNS Act Again Blocked by Judge.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 1, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/01/pulaski-county-judge-halts-state-again-from/ (accessed July 3, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Act Goes to Senate for a Final Vote.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 7, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/07/sanders-amended-education-bill-heads-back-to-full/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Act Referendum Bid Falls Short.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 5, 2023, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/05/groups-petition-to-put-learns-act-on-ballot-falls/ (accessed August 7, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Ballot Effort Saw Myriad Obstacles.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 27, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/27/learns-ballot-effort-saw-myriad-obstacles/ (accessed August 28, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Case Briefing Dates to Be Expedited.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 14, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/14/arkansas-supreme-court-will-expedite-learns/ (accessed July 14, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Foe Sees Donations Pick Up.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 17, 2023, pp. 1B, 8B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/17/group-seeking-to-put-learns-act-to-referendum/ (accessed June 20, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Legislation Is Approved by Panel.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 2, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/02/sanders-education-bill-clears-committee-heads-to/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “New Student Test in the Works.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 23, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/23/new-student-assessment-test-will-be-in-place-in/ (accessed May 23, 2023).

———. “Plaintiffs: Forgo Ruling on LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 15, 2023, pp. 1B, 6B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/15/plaintiffs-challenging-learns-emergency-clause/ (accessed August 15, 2023).

———. “Rudofsky to Seek School Voucher.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 2, 2024, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/apr/01/judge-hearing-learns-act-challenge-plans-to-file/ (accessed April 2, 2024).

———. “Rules for Vouchers Awaited by Many.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 30, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/30/private-schools-parents-await-details-on-learns/ (accessed May 1, 2023).

———. “Ruling on LEARNS Act Effective Date Due Soon.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 21, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/21/pulaski-county-judge-says-decision-on-learns-act/ (accessed June 21, 2023).

———. “Sanders Education Plan Clears Senate.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 24, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/24/sanders-education-bill-clears-arkanas-senate/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Sanders Meets with Christian Schools.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, January 23, 2024, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/jan/22/sanders-tells-christian-school-leaders-some/ (accessed January 23, 2024).

———. “Sanders to Crowd: Lobby Lawmakers for Education Bill.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 22, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/22/sanders-education-bill-goes-before-senate/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Sanders Unveils State Education Plan.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 9, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/09/sanders-education-plan-includes-50000-minimum/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “School Voucher Rules Advance.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 21, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/21/committee-endorses-temporary-rules-for-school/ (accessed July 21, 2023).

———. “Senate Passes Education Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 8, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/08/sanders-education-bill-passes-senate-heads-to/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “State Appealing LEARNS Ruling.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 4, 2023, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/03/arkansas-attorney-general-notifies-court-of-learns-appeal/ (accessed July 5, 2023).

———. “State Asks Court to Lift LEARNS Act Roadblock.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 31, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/31/arkansas-attorney-general-asks-court-to-reverse/ (accessed May 31, 2023).

———. “State’s Justices Reverse Order on LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 16, 2023, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/16/arkansas-supreme-court-overturns-lower-court/ (accessed June 16, 2023).

———. “State’s LEARNS Act Takes Effect This Week.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 30, 2023, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/30/states-learns-act-takes-effect-this-week/ (accessed July 31, 2023).

———. “Suit Seeks to Stop Takeover of District.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 9, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/09/lawsuit-filed-challenging-learns-act-in-effort-to/ (accessed May 10, 2023).

———. “Tweets Spark LEARNS Act Legal Objection.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 15, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/15/tweets-spark-learns-act-legal-objection/ (accessed May 15, 2023).

———. “Voucher Rules Clear Panel of Lawmakers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 18, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/18/state-lawmakers-approve-emergency-rules-for/ (accessed July 18, 2023).

Earley, Neal, and Daniel McFadin. “Senate Panel Approved Education Bill.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 23, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/23/senate-panel-approves-education-bill/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Earley, Neal, and Will Langhorne. “LEARNS Act Referendum Comes up Shy.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 1, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/01/capes-officials-come-up-short-in-effort-to-put/ (accessed August 1, 2023).

———. “Public Weighs in on LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 1, 2023, pp. 1A, 9A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/01/public-weighs-in-on-learns/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “State Schools Redo Remains in Transition.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 26, 2023, pp. 1A, 12A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/26/sanders-education-overhaul-seen-as-headed-toward/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Eichkorn, Paige. “Education Bill Protested at Central High.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 4, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/04/education-bill-protested-at-central-high/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “NLRSD Weighs Teacher Salaries under State Law.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 1, 2023, pp. 1B, 2B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/01/nlrsd-weighs-teacher-salaries-under-state-law/ (accessed May 1, 2023).

———. “Students Protest at Capitol after LEARNS Bill Signed.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 9, 2023, p. 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/09/students-protest-at-capitol-after-learns-bill/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Ellis, Dale. “Judge Blocks Ban on ‘Indoctrination.'” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 8, 2024, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/may/07/federal-judge-bars-state-from-enforcing-indoctrination-section-of-the-learns-act/ (accessed May 8, 2024).

Grajeda, Antoinette. “Arkansas LEARNS Act Repeal Group Adds More Petition Drives, Intimidation Hotline.” Arkansas Advocate, July 26, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/07/26/arkansas-learns-act-repeal-group-adds-more-petition-drives-intimidation-hotline/ (accessed July 27, 2023).

———. “Arkansas Private Schools Navigate New Voucher Application Process.” Arkansas Advocate, July 10, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/07/10/arkansas-private-schools-navigate-new-voucher-application-process/ (accessed July 10, 2023).

———. “Arkansas Schools Compress Salary Schedules in Response to LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Advocate, January 16, 2024. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2024/01/16/arkansas-schools-compress-salary-schedules-in-response-to-learns-act/ (accessed January 16, 2024).

———. “Citing Sovereign Immunity, Arkansas AG Calls on Court to Dismiss LEARNS Act Lawsuit.” Arkansas Advocate, June 6, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/06/06/citing-sovereign-immunity-arkansas-ag-calls-on-court-to-dismiss-learns-act-lawsuit/ (accessed June 7, 2023).

———. “Distance, Finances Will Affect Choices as Arkansas Education Freedom Account Rolls Out.” Arkansas Advocate, April 26, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/04/26/distance-finances-will-affect-choices-as-arkansas-educational-freedom-account-rolls-out/ (accessed April 26, 2023).

———. “Malvern-Elaine Prepares to Start the School Year under Arkansas’ First ‘Transformation Contract.'” Arkansas Advocate, August 11, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/08/11/marvell-elaine-prepares-to-start-the-school-year-under-arkansas-first-transformation-contract/ (accessed August 11, 2023).

———. “Nearly 5,000 Arkansas Students, Dozens of Schools Apply for New Education Voucher Program.” Arkansas Advocate, August 10, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/08/10/nearly-5000-arkansas-students-83-schools-apply-for-new-education-voucher-program/ (accessed August 10, 2023).

———. “Responses Filed to Arkansas AG’s Request to Toss LEARNS Act Restraining Order.” Arkansas Advocate, June 1, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/06/01/responses-filed-to-arkansas-ags-request-to-toss-learns-act-restraining-order/ (accessed June 2, 2023).

———. “Some Arkansas Private Schools Hold Back from Joining Voucher Program.” Arkansas Advocate, October 30, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/10/30/some-arkansas-private-schools-hold-back-from-joining-voucher-program/ (accessed October 30, 2023).

———. “What Is the Arkansas LEARNS Act?” Arkansas Advocate, March 8, 2023. https://arkansasadvocate.com/2023/03/08/how-will-the-learns-act-impact-arkansas-families/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Hardy, Benjamin. “Lawsuit Challenges LEARNS Voucher Program as Unconstitutional.” Arkansas Times, June 10, 2024. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/06/10/lawsuit-challenges-learns-voucher-program-as-unconstitutional (accessed June 10, 2024).

Howell, Cynthia. “4 File Suit Seeking to Halt School Voucher Program.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 11, 2024, pp. 1B, 6B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/jun/10/4-file-suit-seeking-to-halt-school-voucher/ (accessed June 11, 2024).

———. “5,000 Students Get Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 25, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/oct/25/5000-students-get-vouchers/ (accessed October 25, 2023).

———. “Bill Resegregates, Central Students Write Sanders.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 2, 2023, p. 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/02/bill-resegregates-central-students-write-sanders/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Draft Rules Advanced for School Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette July 14, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/14/arkansas-education-board-oks-draft-emergency/ (accessed July 14, 2023).

———. “Early Reaction to Education Bill Mixed.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 21, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/21/early-reaction-to-education-bill-mixed/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Lawmaker Questions AG on ’17 Law, LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 22, 2023, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jun/22/lawmaker-questions-ag-on-17-law-learns-act/ (accessed June 22, 2023).

———. “LEARNS Act Is Not Yet in Effect, Judge Decides.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 27, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/27/learns-act-is-not-yet-in-effect-judge-decides/ (accessed May 30, 2023).

———. “LRSD Leaders Talk LEARNS Ramifications.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 17, 2023, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/17/lrsd-leaders-talk-learns-ramifications/ (accessed April 17, 2023).

———. “Olivia Fields LEARNS Act Questions Online.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 30, 2023, p. 2B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/30/oliva-fields-learns-act-questions-online/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Order Blurs Timeline for Student Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 2, 2023, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/02/order-blurs-timeline-for-student-vouchers/ (accessed July 3, 2023).

———. “Public Remarks Split on Rules for Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 26, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/26/public-comments-divided-on-rules-for-learns-acts/ (accessed August 26, 2023).

———. “Report: 4,795 in State Using School Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 7, 2023, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/oct/07/report-4795-in-state-using-school-vouchers/ (accessed October 10, 2023).

———. “Rules Soon to Air on LEARNS Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 15, 2024, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/mar/14/learns-act-draft-rules-going-out-to-the-public/ (accessed March 15, 2024).

———. “Sanders, Oliva to Board: Plenty of Work Ahead.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 10, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/10/sanders-oliva-to-board-plenty-of-work-ahead/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “State Clears 106 Private Schools for Voucher Cash.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 2, 2024, pp. 1A, 11A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/jun/02/state-clears-106-private-schools-for-voucher-cash/ (accessed June 3, 2024).

———. “State School Voucher Total Climbs to 11,500.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 31, 2024, pp. 1A, 3A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/may/30/6000-more-applicants-approved-for-arkansas-school/ (accessed May 31, 2024).

———. “State to Do LEARNS Guidance for Districts.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 9, 2023, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/10/state-to-do-learns-guidance-for-districts/ (accessed May 10, 2023).

———. “Student Public Service Requisite to Begin.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 14, 2024, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/apr/14/student-public-service-requisite-to-begin/ (accessed April 15, 2024).

———. “Union President Disputes Benefits of Education Act.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 31, 2023, p. 2B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/31/union-president-disputes-benefits-of-education-act/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Howell, Cynthia, and Ainsley Platt. “More than 80 Schools Apply for Vouchers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 31, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/30/more-than-80-schools-apply-for-vouchers/ (accessed July 31, 2023).

Kurrus, Baker. “School Vouchers Will Increase Economic Segregation.” Arkansas Times, February 15, 2023. https://arktimes.com/news/2023/02/15/school-vouchers-will-increase-economic-segregation (accessed March 31, 2023).

———. “Sorting out the Bluebirds: How School Vouchers Will Hurt the Kids in Greatest Need.” Arkansas Times, August 19, 2023. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/08/19/sorting-out-the-bluebirds-how-school-vouchers-will-hurt-the-kids-in-greatest-need (accessed August 21, 2023).

———. “The Voucher Funding Rip-Off.” Arkansas Times, May 8, 2024. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/05/08/the-voucher-funding-rip-off (accessed May 9, 2024).

LEARNS. Arkansas Department of Education. https://learns.ade.arkansas.gov/ (accessed July 5, 2023).

Miller, Remington, and Neal Earley. “Advocates: Education Bill Is Moving Too Fast.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 28, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/28/advocacy-leaders-call-for-more-time-before-house/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Murrell, L. C. “Schools Act Stirs Supers’ Reactions.” Pine Bluff Commercial, April 9, 2023, pp. 1, 5. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/09/schools-act-stirs-pbsd-reaction/ (accessed April 10, 2023).

Noland, Ali. “Loads of Questions Demand Answers before Arkansas LEARNS Goes up for a Vote.” Arkansas Times, February 21, 2023. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/02/21/loads-of-questions-demand-answers-before-arkansas-learns-goes-up-for-a-vote (accessed March 31, 2023).

“Parents of Students with Disabilities Are Paying the Price of Sarah Sanders’ Rushed LEARNS Act, According to Sources Close to a Little Rock School.” On AR Watch, June 17, 2023. https://onarwatch.org/parents-of-kids-with-disabilities-pay-the-price-for-learns/ (accessed June 20, 2023).

Parker, B. A., Gene Demby, Lori Lizarraga, Christina Cala, Leah Donnella, Xavier Lopez, and Dalia Mortada. “What Arkansas’ LEARNS Act Has to Do with Race.” Code Switch. NPR, January 3, 2024. https://www.npr.org/2024/01/03/1197954509/what-arkansas-learns-act-has-to-do-with-race (accessed January 3, 2024).

Ramsey, David. “Arkansas LEARNS Is Designed to Make Rich Parents Richer.” Arkansas Times, October 2023, pp. 24, 26–28. Online at https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/09/01/arkansas-learns-is-designed-to-make-rich-parents-richer (accessed September 1, 2023).

———. “Arkansas LEARNS Report: 95% of Voucher Students Did Not Attend Public School Last Year.” Arkansas Times, November 2023, pp. 22, 24–26. Online at https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/10/11/arkansas-learns-report-95-of-voucher-students-did-not-attend-public-school-last-year (accessed October 11, 2023).

———. “How Does Arkansas LEARNS Impact Teachers? We Have the Answers (Part 1).” Arkansas Times, January 4, 2024. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/01/04/how-does-arkansas-learns-impact-teachers-we-have-answers-part-1 (accessed January 4, 2024).

———. “How Does Arkansas LEARNS Impact Teachers? We Have the Answers (Part 2).” Arkansas Times, January 8, 2024. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/01/08/how-does-arkansas-learns-impact-teachers-we-have-answers-part-2 (accessed January 8, 2024).

———. “How Does the Arkansas LEARNS Voucher Program Work? We Have the Answers.” Arkansas Times, August 19, 2023. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/08/19/how-does-the-arkansas-learns-voucher-program-work-we-have-answers (accessed August 21, 2023).

———. “Most LEARNS Voucher Students Attend Schools with Higher Tuition than Voucher Amount.” Arkansas Times, October 31, 2023. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2023/10/31/most-learns-voucher-students-attend-schools-with-tuition-higher-than-voucher-amount (accessed October 31, 2023).

———. “Most Voucher Students Are Not Coming from Public Schools.” Arkansas Times, May 3, 2024. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/05/03/most-voucher-students-are-not-coming-from-public-schools (accessed May 6, 2024).

Roberts, Jeannie. “LEARNS Community Service Requirements Remains Lite on Guidelines, Heavy on Burden to Public School Families.” Arkansas Times, March 2024, pp. 24, 26. Online at https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/02/03/learns-community-service-requirement-remains-lite-on-guidelines-heavy-on-burden-to-public-school-families (accessed March 1, 2024).

SB294. Arkansas State Legislature. https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Detail?id=SB294&chamber=Senate&ddBienniumSession=2023%2F2023R (accessed March 31, 2023).

Smith, Shelley. “Teacher Protections Are out the Window under Arkansas LEARNS.” Arkansas Times, February 2024, pp. 24, 26–27. https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2024/01/07/teacher-protections-are-out-the-window-under-arkansas-learns (accessed January 8, 2023).

Snyder, Josh. “Act Creates Teacher Pay Uncertainty, Districts Say.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 2, 2023, pp. 1A, 8A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/02/state-says-it-will-fund-learns-raises-but/ (accessed April 3, 2023).

———. “Group, Teacher Join in Lawsuit over LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 16, 2024, pp. 1B, 4B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/apr/15/arkansas-naacp-little-rock-central-teacher-join/ (accessed April 16, 2024).

———. “LR Nine Urge Teaching of History.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 26, 2023, pp. 1B, 6B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/sep/26/little-rock-nine-express-concern-over-history/ (accessed September 26, 2023).

———. “Motion Filed to Throw out LEARNS Suit.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 16, 2024, pp. 1B, 3B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/may/15/arkansas-ag-files-motion-to-dismiss-lawsuit-that/ (accessed May 16, 2024).

———. “New Teachers, Admins Enter Changing Field.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 17, 2023, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/17/as-school-year-approaches-1st-time-teachers/ (accessed July 17, 2023).

———. “New Website Presents LEARNS Act Details.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 15, 2023, pp. 1B, 2B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/15/oliva-new-learns-website-to-be-1-stop-shop-for/ (accessed April 17, 2023).

———. “Officials: AP Black Studies to Remain.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 24, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/24/arkansas-officials-lawmakers-meet-over-african/ (accessed August 24, 2023).

———. “Oliva Defends Removing Code for African American Studies.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 15, 2023, pp. 1A, 3A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/15/oliva-defends-removing-code-for-african-american/ (accessed August 15, 2023).

———. “Plaintiffs Lose Bid to Expedite LEARNS Suit.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 18, 2024, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/apr/17/griffin-argues-for-denial-of-request-that-would/ (accessed April 18, 2024).

———. “Reviews in Districts Mixed for LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 3, 2023, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/apr/03/worry-optimism-expressed-as-superintendents-in/ (accessed April 3, 2023).

———. “Schools Must Submit Black Studies Content to State.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 23, 2023, pp. 1A, 3A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/aug/23/oliva-tells-districts-to-supply-african-american/ (accessed August 23, 2023).

———. “Schools Keep Eye on Employee Exits.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 15, 2023, pp. 1A, 2A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/15/schools-keep-eye-on-employee-exits/ (accessed May 15, 2023).

———. “State Educator Programs Set for 1st LEARNS Year.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 18, 2023, pp. 1A, 6A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/jul/18/educator-programs-in-arkansas-ready-for-1st-year/ (accessed July 18, 2023).

———. “Student Voucher Contract Approved.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 1, 2024, pp. 1A, 7A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/may/31/arkansas-lawmakers-approve-7-year-student-voucher/ (accessed June 3, 2024).

———. “Suit Filed in Federal Court Rips LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 26, 2024, pp. 1A, 5A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/mar/25/little-rock-educators-file-suit-seek-preliminary/ (accessed March 26, 2024).

Strauss, Valerie. “Five of Little Rock Nine on Arkansas’ Attempt to Erase Black History.” Washington Post, August 22, 2023. https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/08/22/arkansas-erase-black-history-littlerock9/ (accessed August 23, 2023).

Thompson, Doug. “Education Bill Raises Rural Concerns.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 27, 2023, p. 2B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/feb/27/governors-education-bill-stirs-concern-in/ (accessed March 31, 2023).

Wickline, Michael. R. “$34M in Covid Aid Shifted to LEARNS.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 21, 2023, pp. 1B, 5B. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/may/21/arkansas-lawmakers-ok-reallocation-of-347-million/ (accessed May 22, 2023).

———. “Court Rejects LEARNS Act Challengers.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 13, 2023, pp. 1A, 4A. Online at https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/oct/13/state-supreme-court-reverses-lower-court-ruling/ (accessed October 13, 2023).

Zakrzewski, Katie. “Catholic Schools Grapple with Teacher Shortage.” Arkansas Catholic, August 22, 2023. https://www.arkansas-catholic.org/news/article/7940/Catholic-schools-grapple-with-teacher-shortage (accessed August 23, 2023).

———. “Schools Prepare for 1st Year with LEARNS.” Arkansas Catholic, August 21, 2023. https://www.arkansas-catholic.org/news/article/7939/Schools-prepare-for-1st-year-with-LEARNS (accessed August 23, 2023).

Zamarro, Gema, Andrew Camp, Josh McGee, Taylor Wilson, and Miranda Vernon. “Changes in Teacher Salaries under the Arkansas LEARNS Act.” EDRE Research Brief 2023-02. https://scholarworks.uark.edu/edrepub/147/ (accessed December 18, 2023).

Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas

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