Monday, 11 o’clock in the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol, the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and Pulaski County Legislators will hold a press conference to discussed SB620, the Governor’s voucher bill and SB553, which provides a pathway to return @lrsd to the people.— Joyce Elliott (@xjelliott) March 21, 2019
All legislators, Democrats & Republicans, who believe the attack of public schools must end are welcome. Be sure to let your Rep and Senator you need them to show up and support our public school students and families.The Republican Party has begun ginning up a campaign in favor of the logical fallacy that "choice" must be better and vouchers are good. It's built on many unsupportable, and sometimes demonstrably faulty, presumptions:
Linked on this post is SB553, which was introduced by Sen. Will Bond. It provides a the Department of Education/State Board of Education/Gov. Hutchinson a pathway to return the Little Rock School District to the people.Noted: Hutchinson's Pulaski voucher plan (is this special local legislation, a reader asked) is one of three voucher-expanding bills in the legislature this session — $3 million for students with special needs, $3 million more statewide for any student and the governor's $3.5 million plan for Pulaski. If all pass, that's almost $10 million in taxpayer money to send up to 1,500 students to private schools of unknown quality (and sometimes overtly religious) with money that otherwise would go to public schools statewide. That amounts to roughly a loss of $10 in the amount available for every student in every Arkansas public school district. (Figure a half-million Arkansas public school students and about half the state general revenue budget goes to public education.) Once the voucher program is institutionalized, this figure will only increase. It's scandal-marred billion-dollar-business in Florida now.
The Department of Education has come out against the bill while at the same time the LRSD has regressed under its control. With that kind of record, why should the State Board of Education not LRSD return the district to the people along with a democratically elected school board?
On Wednesday, March 27th, SB553 will be heard in the Senate Education Committee, which starts at 10 o’clock, but we don’t know exactly what time the bill will be heard. We need you to be there, speak up and fight for our #OurLRSD.
Obviously, there is more pulling apart of LRSD the Board and the Department have yet to do. Just think about the Governor-supported SB620 to offer the bright, shiny object of vouchers rather than do the work of creating world-class schools for all students in the district? We know how.
Call your legislators and ask them to support SB553 to return LRSD to the people and to oppose SB620 that continues the attack on LRSD.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other lawmakers have a very tight state budget at the end of this legislative session, and a stark choice:
Do they spend the remaining budget on a wasteful return to the dark days of segregation, or on early childhood programs proven to dramatically improve the education of ALL students?
While lawmakers say there’s no money for proven solutions like improving early childhood education or funding after-school and summer programs, three private voucher schemes have been introduced in the legislature that will cost Arkansas taxpayers up to $10 million.
Call Gov. Hutchinson and your lawmakers today! Tell them you oppose SB539, SB620 and HB1726.
If all three of these bills pass, they could send 1,500 students to private schools with money that would otherwise go to public school districts statewide, amounting to a loss of about $10 available to every student enrolled in Arkansas' public schools.
Ask them to SUPPORT SB618, which will put nearly $6 million into tax credit incentives to help early childhood educators improve the quality of their programs.