Arkansas’ sweeping education bill LEARNS is stalled for now

A Pulaski County judge last Friday placed a temporary restraining order on Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ sweeping education bill, dubbed LEARNS, that passed earlier this year.

What happened: A group from the Marvell-Elaine School District, including at least two district employees, argued that the Legislature didn’t vote separately on an emergency clause, meaning the law cannot yet be enforced. Without an emergency clause, it would take 90 days for the law to go into effect.

The state board of education voted last month to allow a transformation contract for a charter school to take over the district. The judge’s ruling halts that.

Context: The group filing the complaint, Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students (CAPES), is the same collection of parents and educators seeking to overturn the LEARNS Act by statewide referendum in 2024.

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