LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A newly-signed education law in Arkansas you have heard about for months is getting new pushback from educators.

The controversy comes in the form of questions candidates for Arkansas Teacher of the Year must answer in their applications.

How will you implement the LEARNS legislation into your classroom practice? What positive impact do you expect LEARNS to have on Arkansas students?

Candidates are also asked to describe their proposed platform and how it relates to the Arkansas LEARNS Law.

The 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, Stacey McAdoo said political beliefs aside, this is a little different from when she applied four years ago. McAdoo said she does not recall answering any questions on legislation, policies or law when she applied for the role.

“I do not know if it is a sign that it’s becoming political or not,” McAdoo said. “What I do know is the Teacher of the Year program, the National Teacher of the Year program, these are nonpartisan programs.”
McAdoo said the job was an honor for her and one she hopes to see stay the same, even under different administrations.

“It is not about politics,” she said. “It is about teaching. It is about the love and the art of teaching.”

FOX 16 reached out to the spokesperson for Governor Sarah Sanders, Alexa Henning, for a statement on the application questions.

“The LEARNS Act is law, and the ATOY serves as an ambassador for education,” Hennings responded. “Asking applicants to explain how they will implement the law in their classrooms and how their platform will align with the LEARNS law is well within the expectations of the role of the Arkansas Teacher of the Year.”