LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas LEARNs Act has been stopped in its tracks, for now at least.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge, Herbert Wright granted a temporary restraining order until June 20 which blocks the takeover of the Marvell-Elaine School District by a charter school.

On May 8, a lawsuit was filed by concerned parents, along with Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students, also known as CAPES, against Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders LEARNs Act. 18 days later, CAPES won.

The lawsuit states that because the act had an emergency clause, that was not voted on separately from the bill, Arkansas LEARNs is not yet state law.

The restraining order says the defendants, which is the state, is not allowed to enforce any aspect of the Arkansas LEARNs Act until that becomes law.

That means everything that has been done up until this point is in jeopardy, especially the Marvell-Elaine School District.

Pulaski County Cricut Court Judge Hubert Wright says that all actions taken with that district must be stopped, including consolidating the district.

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 wasting no time on that appeal. The AG’s office has already filed 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 place until June 20 where another hearing will take place to take a closer look at the learns act and how it was passed.