State Watch

Sarah Huckabee Sanders uses SOTU response to tease ‘far reaching’ conservative education plan

Al Drago/Bloomberg, Pool
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, R-Ark., waits to deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark.

New Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the official Republican response to Tuesday’s State of the Union that she will be revealing “an education package that will be the most far-reaching, bold conservative education reform in the country” on Wednesday.

Without giving many specifics, Sanders said the plan for her state “empowers parents with real choices, improves literacy and career readiness and helps put a good teacher in every classroom by increasing their starting salary from one of the lowest to one of the highest in the nation.”

President Biden’s State of the Union address included relatively little on education. The president called for universal preschool and teacher pay raises while highlighting increases in Pell Grants under his administration.

In her response immediately after, Sanders, using several popular GOP talking points, said Republicans “are working to end the policy of trapping kids and failing schools,” a nod towards school choice measures, which are all but certain to feature in her plan. 

“We will educate — not indoctrinate — our kids, and put students on a path to success,” she said. 

Sanders’s tease of a sweeping education reform package for her state comes as Republicans have increasingly made education a top priority. 

In numerous states throughout the country, school choice initiatives such as education savings accounts have been introduced or passed this year. 

States including Florida, Texas and Virginia have increasingly taken on battles in the classroom regarding critical race theory, LGBTQ book bans and policies for transgender students. 

Tags Arkansas Biden biden sotu biden state of the union education reform Republican response Sarah Huckabee Sanders sarah huckabee sanders school choice SOTU SOTU State of the Union

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