LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a new executive order Thursday pledging to “streamline” the education funding process.
The “Executive Order to Limit Government Overreach, Reduce Red Tape, and Improve Education” requires Education Secretary Jacob Oliva to “develop a unified system that streamlines applications for all state and federal funding programs away from multiple plans and multiple budgets into a single application.”
The order claims these changes to processes are justified because “the way that Arkansas public school districts plan and apply for state and federal funds is burdensome, fragmented, and inefficient,” according to its opening sentence.
The order also directs Oliva’s office to review laws and regulations affecting funding, noting he is expected to take input from “educators, advocates and families” in making this review.
Following the review, the secretary is expected to recommend changes or reforms to streamline the funding process. Those recommendations must include a method for the department to accept feedback about redundant or burdensome laws or regulations once the new process is put in place.
Oliva, who previously served as interim commissioner of the Florida Department of Education, is expected to play a critical role in implementing an omnibus education bill due later in this legislative session.
Sanders stated in her inauguration address that she intended to be an “education governor” who would overhaul the Arkansas education system.
One of Sanders first executive orders, signed the day of her inauguration, tasked the Secretary of Education with making sure school lecturers and teachers do not “indoctrinate” students.