FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA) – On Saturday, public school teachers, local officials, and local organizations stood outside Washington County Courthouse protesting against Gov. Sanders’ Arkansas LEARNS Bill.

Valerie Hanna a public school teacher in Northwest Arkansas doesn’t support Arkansas LEARNS and says it hurts all students.

“There’s just a lot of very large flaws in this program or in this bill. And if it goes forward, it’s going to take down the public school before we can fix it,” Hanna said.

Hanna’s main concern with the bill is the education freedom account fund, which acts as a school voucher system.

“We cannot survive on a scarcity in these schools. And this bill takes away funding from public schools. It takes away opportunities from students because not every student is going to get that voucher opportunity,” Hanna said.

According to a sponsor of the bill, Republican State Senator Bart Hester. If a child decided to go to a private school, 85% of the funds issued to the public school would transfer to the student and 5% would go towards managing those funds and 10% would go back to the state.

“The reality is if you’re doing an excellent job at your public school, why would somebody choose something different? And if you’re doing an excellent job and they choose something different, shouldn’t we allow that?” Hester said.

The bill also includes a raise in teacher pay, bringing the starting salary to $50,000 from $36,000.

“Going from around the in the near 50 to fourth in the country and pay. It’s the largest investment in public schools in the history of Arkansas,” Hester said.

Hanna says as a teacher for twelve years now she is not against raising teacher pay, she’s against the opportunities this bill is taking away from students.

“Beg them to do what is right for all students, whether they are at a private school, at a public school, at a charter school, This bill will hurt all students,” Hanna said.

Gov. Sanders’ Arkansas LEARNS bill passed the Senate on Thursday and is now headed to the House.