2019 Session: School-Choice Legislation Makes Comeback

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A state representative plans to revive his school-choice legislation when lawmakers convene at the capitol next week. 

The bill St. Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, sponsored during the 2017 session would have created education savings accounts for parents to cover private school tuition and other costs. The bill passed in the Senate but failed by one vote in the House.

Dotson has not finalized the details for his 2019 bill but believes it has more momentum.

“I don’t think parents really care what model of education their child gets as long as their child is getting educated, that they’re in a happy, healthy environment that they’re able to thrive in,” he said.  

Dotson said he practices what he preaches. His kids have gone to a combination of public and private schools.

“One size does not fit all,” he said. “We’re all individuals. We all have different learning styles.” 

The governor has said he would support the bill if a lawmaker reintroduces it.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is also working to fulfill a campaign promise to raise the minimum teacher salary from $31,800 to $36,000 over the next four years.

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