Group Forms to Oppose Abortion, Marijuana, Education Amendments

On Friday the group Stronger Arkansas filed ballot question committee paperwork announcing it would work to disqualify and/or defeat the Arkansas Abortion Amendment, the marijuana amendment, and the Arkansas Educational Rights Amendment of 2024.

Arkansans for Limited Government is collecting petition signatures to place the Arkansas Abortion Amendment on the November ballot.

The amendment would write abortion into the state constitution, and it would prevent the Arkansas Legislature from restricting abortion during the first five months of pregnancy — allowing thousands of elective abortions every year and paving the way for taxpayer-funded abortions in Arkansas.

Another group is circulating petitions to place a marijuana amendment on the ballot this November.

The amendment would change Arkansas’ medical marijuana law to enable recreational marijuana statewide. No longer would marijuana users need to suffer from a specific medical condition.

The amendment would drastically expand Arkansas’ laws to make it possible for people to grow and use marijuana at home. This would make it easier for people to use marijuana recreationally.

The amendment also would openly legalize marijuana in Arkansas if federal laws against marijuana are repealed.

The Arkansas Educational Rights Amendment of 2024 would change Arkansas’ constitution concerning education.

Among other things, the amendment would require private schools that receive public funding to be accredited like a public school. This could have significant ramifications for private schools that receive public funding under the state’s 2023 LEARNS Act.

A growing list of organizations in Arkansas oppose the abortion amendment.

Arkansas Right to Life and Family Council Action Committee both have launched campaigns to disqualify and defeat the abortion measure.

Choose Life Arkansas — which is made up of pro-life leaders from across the state — has also formed a campaign to defeat the amendment.

NWA Coalition for Life has filed a Statement of Organization last month announcing it is working against the abortion amendment. The group includes pro-life leaders from the Northwest Arkansas area.

On March 1 the Arkansas Committee For Ethics Policy filed paperwork with the State indicating it opposes the abortion amendment.

On March 6 the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock also filed a Statement of Organization announcing it opposes the amendment.

The groups circulating petitions for the abortion amendment, marijuana amendment, and education amendment have until July 5 to collect the nearly 91,000 petition signatures necessary to place their measures on the ballot.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Arkansas Governor Signs Omnibus LEARNS Act Into Law

Above: Gov. Sanders signs the LEARNS Act into law during a bill signing ceremony at the Arkansas Capitol.

On Wednesday Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed S.B. 294, the LEARNS Act, into law.

The LEARNS Act is a good law that could provide students in Arkansas with unprecedented access to education.

As we have written before, the LEARNS Act will make it possible for students to receive a publicly-funded education at a public or private school or at home.

The LEARNS Act will empower families to make decisions about how they educate their children. That could give families real education choices that will help their children succeed.

The LEARNS Act also prohibits critical race theory in public schools, and it protects young elementary school children from inappropriate sexual material.

We are grateful to legislators for passing the LEARNS Act, and we applaud Gov. Sanders for signing it into law.

Arkansas House Passes School Choice Measure

On Thursday the Arkansas House of Representatives passed the LEARNS Act, S.B. 294.

The LEARNS Act is an omnibus education measure that Gov. Sanders and members of the General Assembly filed last week.

The bill already has passed in the Arkansas Senate.

Among other things, the bill:

  • Creates a framework that the State Board of Education will use to implement school choice in Arkansas between now and 2025.
  • Overhauls Arkansas law concerning hiring, paying, and dismissing teachers at public schools.
  • Requires the Arkansas Secretary of Education to review all policies to be sure that indoctrination — including critical race theory — is prohibited and that no public school employee or public school student is required to attend training or orientation that is based on critical race theory or other prohibited indoctrination.
  • Requires child sex abuse and human trafficking curriculum to be incorporated into the Department of Education’s standards for Health and Safety and Physical Education standards.
  • Prohibits sexual material in classroom instruction before fifth grade.
  • Extensively delegates authority to the State Board of Education.

The LEARNS Act would give families the option of using state dollars to educate their children at a public or private school or at home, and it would address inappropriate material in public schools.

Family Council and our homeschool division the Education Alliance support the LEARNS Act.

We have always supported school choice, and this is what the act provides.

The LEARNS Act provides another choice for homeschool families.

Some will choose to remain as they are with no funding and no additional regulation. Others may choose to accept the funding and, with it, whatever requirements are established under the LEARNS Act.

It should be a matter for each family to determine which form of education is best for their child.

We are pleased that Governor Sanders has provided another choice for home school families and that she is seeking to improve education in numerous ways.