Arkansas Legislators Pass Bill to Create Choice Program

Published March 31, 2015

On March 31, the Arkansas Senate voted to pass House Bill 1552, which would create a school voucher program for children with disabilities. The bill passed with bipartisan support and now awaits signing by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

According to The Freidman Foundation for Educational Choice, Arkansas would become the 25th state to adopt a school choice program if HB1552 becomes law. The program would allow parents to use public funding to send their special needs children to the school of their choice. Awarding of scholarships could begin as of the 2016-17 school year.

School choice advocates say the passage of the bill is a great opportunity for families in Arkansas.

“Parents and families in Arkansas can celebrate the passage of House Bill 1552 which will create new educational opportunities for children with special needs,” Chairman of the American Federation for Children Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “We applaud the legislature for their bold leadership and putting the needs of students first by passing this important legislation.”

Heather Kays ([email protected]) is a research fellow with The Heartland Institute and is managing editor of School Reform News.

Image by Ilmicrofono Oggiono.