October 29th 2014
A COLA is more than a tasty soft drink. In policymaking and economics, COLA stands for "cost of living adjustment." Prices of goods (like groceries, rent, healthcare, transportation, electricity, etc.) and services (like haircuts, teaching, legal services, car maintenance, etc.) change and often increase steadily over time. So, a cost of living adjustment ensures that decision makers consider those cost changes when figuring out how much money to budget each year. By including changes in goods and services each year, lawmakers are able to help organizations and groups keep the quality of their services and pay for their needs.
October 23rd 2014
Last week, the joint legislative education committee met to make spending recommendations in education. The committee made a few recommendations that involved more spending. They suggested putting more money towards technology, substitute teachers, and English language learners (ELL). Alternative learning environments (for students with academic or behavioral challenges) would also see more funding. But, they did not recommend any changes in school poverty funding - for a fourth year in a row. Yikes.
October 21st 2014
Imagine coming home after working a ten hour shift at a minimum wage job. Its pay day, but you're stuck having to make a tough decision for your family. Your rent is due, you're running low on groceries for the week, the car you use to get to work is on empty, and your daughter needs a new pair of shoes. With all of these competing and essential needs, what do you choose? Do you wait to get your children the pair of shoes they desperately need and put gas in the vehicle you need to get you to and from work? Do you pay the rent and stretch out ramen and potato chips for the week?
August 6th 2014
As Arkansans rightly celebrate a remarkable decrease in the percentage of the state’s uninsured adults, it’s a good time to reflect on how our state accomplished this feat.