Editor, The Commercial:
It's been pretty obvious for some time now that the citizens of Arkansas were snookered by the Empress Sarah and her cabal in the passage of the LEARNS act. Had she not been so devious and secretive about it we'd have known all about it: Who is/was pushing it? The prohibitions, allowances, and excesses in it, weeks earlier. We'd have been given some public input into it. We were NOT !
I'm not aware of many journalists who were invited or allowed attendance at her invitation-only gatherings. No one I know of wrote about it in any of the publications I read prior to the session. She kept her plans and agenda pretty much secret.
She knew she had/has a veto-proof house and senate and as a result of that, could muscle through that abomination of an omnibus bill despite vast public resistance to it.
Among several things in it abhorrent to most of us is the taxpayers being forced by it to support "religious" private schools when we had repeatedly defeated their efforts at that for years. Of course they're referred to as "parochial" schools in the bill and most folks haven't a clue that the word parochial means religious. She knows that too!
It removes the long standing cap on charter schools which was not commonly known until after the bill was signed.
Due to the scurrilous treatment of educators we are short of teachers and the imported "czar" over the state education board is now trying to change to unqualified folks to fill the ranks now depleted by their political skullduggery.
The recent "special session" involved a brazen attempt by Empress Sarah to gut the FOI Act so that she and her cabal could do just about anything else in private that she/they chose to and impose it on the citizenry whether or not we agreed.