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The attorney general swiftly appeals the justices’ decision to halt implementation of the Arkansas LEARNs Act



Little Rock, Arkansas – The Arkansas LEARNs Act has been halted, at least for the time being.

The Marvell-Elaine School District cannot be taken over by a charter school until 20 June, per a provisional restraining order issued by Circuit Judge Herbert Wright of Pulaski County.

Concerned parents and Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students, also known as CAPES, filed a lawsuit against Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ LEARNs Act on May 8. After 18 days, CAPES triumphed.

The lawsuit claims that Arkansas LEARNS is not yet state law due to the act’s emergency clause, which was not voted on separately from the bill.

The injunction prohibits the appellants, the state, from enforcing any provision of the Arkansas LEARNs Act until it becomes law.

Everything that has been accomplished up to this point is therefore in jeopardy, particularly the Marvell-Elaine School District.

Judge Hubert Wright of the Pulaski County Criminal Court has ruled that all actions involving this district, including consolidation, must cease.

CAPES released this statement saying after the ruling: Today, CAPES and concerned members of the Marvell-Elaine School District (MESD) prevailed in our legal challenge against the emergency clause for the LEARNS Act when a temporary restraining order was granted and will be in effect until the June 20th hearing. This gives temporary relief from the harm the LEARNs Act is already inflicting across the state. The law is on our side, and today, WE WON! The MESD community deserves more than LEARNS and being sold off to a charter school company. The communities across the state deserve more than this underfunded, harmful omnibus bill. We look forward to the hearing on June 20th and await the response from the AG on our 3rd ballot title submission. CAPES continues its fight for the right of the people to #SayNOTOLEARNS.”

Governor Sarah Sanders responding saying: “This is an absurd lawsuit with zero merit, and we will file an appeal immediately. It’s sad the radical left is playing political games with children’s futures. We are focused on making sure that every kid in AR has access to a quality education, teachers have the pay raises they deserve, and parents are empowered. We expect to be vindicated at the Supreme Court and I’m confident that the AG will be able to vigorously defend it.”

Attorney General Tim Griffin is proceeding expeditiously with this appeal. The Attorney General’s Office has already lodged it.

Griffin says: “The LEARNS Act provides students and parents new opportunities and better performing schools. It was passed in accordance with the Arkansas Constitution, is currently the law in Arkansas, and I won’t allow one erroneous decision by a circuit court judge in Little Rock to deprive the children of Arkansas of the wonderful and lawful opportunities awaiting them under the LEARNS Act. That’s why I’ve immediately appealed the Pulaski County Circuit Court’s order enjoining the LEARNS Act to the Arkansas Supreme Court.”

This order is in effect until June 20, when another hearing will be held to examine the learns act and its passage in greater detail.

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