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Special Education in Arkansas: where we are, where we need to be, how we can improve

Arkansas serves nearly 56,000 students through special education programs. The state constitution guarantees every child access to the advantages and opportunities of free, public education. It also charges the legislature with adopting all suitable means to make it happen. This means that the state and its school districts have a responsibility to meet the needs of every student — including those with […]

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What would it take for Arkansas to be number one?

Every year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation releases the Kids Count Data Book, a comprehensive, 50-state look at child welfare. This year, Arkansas made gains in economic well-being, but we lost ground in health, becoming one of the bottom five states in that category. What would it take for Arkansas to climb all the way up […]

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2016 Voter’s Guide

This November, elections are critical to the well-being of Arkansas’s children and families and to the future of this great state. Arkansas voters will help decide which candidates win a number of important public offices, including the U.S. Presidency, a U.S. Senate seat, and House and Senate seats in the Arkansas General Assembly. The winners […]

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Awaken the Force of Quality Pre-K

This May the Fourth, awaken the force … of QUALITY PRE-K. Our little Wookiees’ earliest experiences form the foundation for all of their future learning. In quality pre-K classrooms, they learn to regulate emotions along with their ABC’s, leading them to success in Kindergarten and beyond. From Kindergarten readiness to coding careers to space travel, […]

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The “Elements” of Quality Pre-K

Quality pre-K matters. It matters most to the children who start off with their backpacks full of knowledge — they are familiar with school routines, they understand the importance of using words rather than fists when there is conflict over crayons, and they are beginning to recognize numbers and sound out words. They are Kindergarten-ready. Quality pre-K also matters to […]

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A Tax and Budget Blueprint for a Better Arkansas

What if Arkansas were a national leader in children’s education and health? What if we had one of the lowest rates of child poverty in the nation instead of one of the highest? What if our abused and neglected children received the attention they deserved from caseworkers who weren’t overloaded? It’s not impossible. We can […]

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The State of Early Childhood Education

Our pre-K paint-by-numbers picture is closer to completion after this past year and a half. Let’s take the next year and a half and fill it in completely. This is within our reach. All we have to do is: provide ongoing revenue to ensure that our ABC program maintains the high quality that kids need […]

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Wealth, Education, and The Opportunity Gap

Education has been called “the great equalizer,” because it is a key tool in lifting the working poor out of poverty, decreasing crime, and improving health. Arkansas has made education a priority since statehood. The state’s constitution says the intelligence and virtue gained from education are “the safeguards of liberty and the bulwark of a […]

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Parents’ Guide to Pre-K Advocacy

Parents and Guardians: you are the most important person in your young child’s life. You are already doing great things to help your child succeed. You are your child’s most valuable asset when it comes to making sure their needs are met. We want to help you find the resources you need to prepare your […]

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What do #ARKidsNeed from birth to age eight?

#ARKidsNeed Download the Print Version Consistent health insurance coverage. Expanded access to health care. Moms who have quality prenatal care. Full immunization screenings. Proper dental care. Regular check-ups to catch health issues early. Mental health care from certified providers. Quality pre-K and early childhood education. Parents who teach early literacy by reading and talking. After […]