Walton-funded group has early word on state Board of Education appointment | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Walton-funded group has early word on state Board of Education appointment

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 6:59 AM

  • inarkansas.com
Arkansas Learns, an advocacy group for education "reform" that is financially supported by the Walton Family Foundation, tweeted last night that Diane Zook had been appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the state Board of Education.

Jim Cooper of Melbourne is due to rotate off the state Board this year.

Diane Zook is wife of Randy Zook, head of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. He's been part of the group fighting the Little Rock School District over its complaint that charter schools have steered students away from the district, a complaint the district has often voicesd in charter school application proceedings before the state Board of Education.

Both Diane Zook and the chamber are contributors to Arkansas Learns, along with the Waltons, which likely explains the group's early receipt of the news.

For the record: The governor's office confirms only that it has not made a Board of Education appointment announcement yet.

UPDATE: Beebe's office announced Zook's appointment this morning. She and Randy have a home in Melbourne, home of her predecessor on the Board. She's a former teacher and vice chair of the Ozarka College Foundation Board, among other volunteer work.

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