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The week that was Jan. 31-Feb. 6 

It was a good week for …

TAX CUTS. House Speaker Benny Petrus and Gov. Mike Beebe struck a deal on taxes. Beebe will get his food tax cut. Petrus will get a bigger tax break for manufacturers. And working poor will also get a broader income tax exemption..

REMEDIAL EDUCATION. A state report says more than half of the state’s public college freshmen require remedial courses in English, math or reading.

COMMON SENSE. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife Janet thought better of accepting some $6,500 in china and crystal from the nonprofit association that helps maintain the Governor’s Mansion. The gift, which had engendered questions in the press, wasn’t made after all.

HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY. The college promised to match dollar-for-dollar the new scholarships being underwritten for El Dorado High School graduates by the Murphy Oil Corporation. That begins to approach a free ride at the Arkadelphia school.

It was a bad week for …

FREE SPEECH. Now the University of Arkansas, famously intolerant of free speech and free press, has begun censoring signs taken to basketball games on campus. If you can’t speak kindly of the Hogs, you can’t speak.

PRIVACY. The Democrat-Gazette reported that state prison inmates have access to private medical and school records through a prison work program.

The WAR ON FAT. The legislature seems inclined to repeal or ease the rule requiring body mass measurement of school children and also to reduce required exercise time at school.

The UNIVERSTY OF ARKANSAS. So here’s clearly the Walton family-financed School of Education Reform’s idea of reform. The school’s Dr. Jay P. Greene, who’s paid $160,000 by the UA to advance a conservative political agenda, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal to argue that public school teachers are paid too much. Those at the School of Education Reform are, for sure.

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