Update: Committee Chair Missy Irvin said that because the bill hasn’t been filed for a full 24 hours yet, the committee cannot hear it yet. Meeting adjourned. But as the crowd filed out, Sen. Joyce Elliott invited anyone who came to testify to say their piece. Senators Greg Leding, Clarke Tucker, Keith Ingram, Jim Hendren, Jane English, Linda Chesterfield, James Sturch and Charles Beckham stuck around to hear them out. Missy Irvin appears to be the only committee member who didn’t.
Sen. Alan Clark will present a bill at the Arkansas Senate Education Committee this morning that would allow students who don’t like a public school’s mask policy to flee to private or home school on the state’s dime.
Mike Hernandez, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, was on hand and ready to speak out against what he says is a divisive concept (masks) that will become even more divisive by putting money in the mix.
“It appears this is taking a public health emergency and using it as an opportunity to extend vouchers,” he said.