Fayetteville, Ark. – “While I am pleased the Arkansas Legislative Council supports funding bonus pay for teachers, their action to rescind $500 million in spending authority for the Arkansas Department of Education is contrary to the Council’s statutory authority and contrary to the principles of separation of powers underlying the Arkansas Revenue Stabilization Act.
“I am disappointed by the Legislative Council’s vote to rescind its approval to give the Arkansas Department of Education authority to spend $500 million in American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund. Just as the General Assembly could not recall a bill from my desk that had already been signed into law, ALC may not undo the lawful appropriations under Act 199 through a parliamentary maneuver.
“Under the appropriation passed last month the schools could use the funds for teacher bonuses and incentives. The big change now is that the schools must submit plans which must go back to the legislature for additional review.
“In other words, the local school district priorities may not be approved. I am concerned that teachers in some districts will get a bonus, but others may not. The creative approach by the committee today while well-intentioned is not the best approach to helping our teachers.”