Gov. Sanders holds town hall meeting to answer questions about LEARNS Act

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 8:40 AM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Education was one of the main items of discussion at the Arkansas legislative session Tuesday.

On April 25, local leaders got an update on what some say was a success for state lawmakers.

“One of the first and most important components of the LEARNS legislation is improving our literacy rates across the state,” said Governor Sarah Sanders.

Gov. Sanders met with educators from across southwest Arkansas in a town hall meeting held Tuesday in Texarkana. Gov. Sanders answered questions about overhauling education in the state. This past legislative session, the governor’s controversial LEARNS Act was voted into law.

Governor Sarah Sanders held a town hall meeting in Texarkana, Ark. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023...
Governor Sarah Sanders held a town hall meeting in Texarkana, Ark. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 to answer questions about the LEARNS Act.(KSLA)

The act includes raising the base salary for Arkansas teachers to $50,000 per year; some people are questioning how small school districts will meet that salary requirement.

“The state is covering all the funding for the teachers’ pay increase. The foundation funding the districts were already receiving, they are still getting that,” Gov. Sanders said.


The LEARNS Act also provides education vouchers to private schools and those students who are being homeschooled.

“There has to be an accountability mechanism as part of the process if we are going to put state funding onto those schools or home school operations, then we want there to be an accountability proponent,” said Gov. Sanders.

The governor says she believes the LEARNS Act will bring Arkansas from the bottom to near the top in terms of educational opportunities across the nation.

“No one is under the illusion that this is a perfect piece of legislation, but we do think it is a great start in transforming this system here in our state and really helping our students succeed,” said Gov. Sanders.

Tuesday’s meeting was held on the Texarkana campus of the University of Arkansas.