GREENWOOD, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Omnibus Education Bill Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders proposed on Feb. 9 includes the Education Freedom Account.
If the bill is passed it will give parents an opportunity to have school choice, which would provide state funding for parents to choose their child’s school whether it be public or private.
Some parents praise the potential for school choice, but some say it will hurt the public school system.
Deborah Baker lives in Greenwood and has a child in grade school and feels strongly about Sanders’ idea of school choice.
“What if your child don’t fit in at the school where you’re living at, you know, and if you can’t afford to take them back and forth to a different school, you have that choice,” Baker said.
However, Grant Tennile, the chairman of the Democratic party of Arkansas says having school choice will cause more problems.
“It’s a scam, and it will destroy public schools in Arkansas. And, it’s not going to solve the problems that she claims it will,” Tennile said.
Tennile says because of this new proposed bill, students in public schools will suffer the most.
“The public schools are going to have less and less and less resources over time, and, very likely, the children who will be trapped in those schools are the very children who need the most help,” Tennile said.
Baker says the new education bill will provide a lifetime opportunity that many Arkansas children would never experience.
“There may be a basketball coach there at a certain school that is not your district but there’s school choice. You want that child to be in it, might be a curriculum that you want. It may be a teacher there that you know. It might be able to help your child,” Baker said.