Consistent Coverage Helps Kids Thrive: 20 Years of CHIP

The bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which turns 20 this year, provides health insurance to kids from low- and moderate-income families who are not eligible for Medicaid. Like Medicaid, it is jointly funded by federal and state governments. Medicaid and CHIP combined have helped lower the uninsured rate for Arkansas children to a historic […]

State of Working Arkansas 2017

Arkansas is a hardworking state. In fact, we have over a million employees who work here. That number has been growing recently, as our unemployment figures hit record lows. That is a positive and welcome change for working families in our state because it means jobs are easier to come by and wages are going […]

Unemployment Insurance Pays Off

The Arkansas legislature has repeatedly reduced the amount of unemployment insurance available to Arkansas workers, lowering both the duration of coverage and the dollar amount of benefits. This puts us well below national averages for unemployment benefits, and puts families and our economy at risk. This might not seem like a big problem given our current […]

Getting the Best Teachers Where They Are Needed Most

Policymakers, parents, and school administrators all want to ensure that students are taught by the best possible teachers, and for good reason. Research has shown that teacher quality is one of the best indicators of student achievement (Kini and Podolsky, 2016). While everyone can agree on the importance of ensuring that students are taught by […]

Brief: Rural Areas Hit Hard by Senate Health Plan

The U.S. Senate’s health care bill would be devastating to rural Arkansas – not just to the health of its citizens but to its economy, as well. Research on the House-passed Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement showed that it could result in 42 percent of Arkansas Medicaid enrollees younger than 65 being dropped from coverage. […]

Child Poverty in Northeast Arkansas: A Snapshot

Our latest brief in a series of reports on child poverty in the state focuses on the prevalence of child poverty in the Northeastern corner of Arkansas. While Jonesboro is typically thought of as the economic hub of Northeast Arkansas, the labor market area for the region is made up of 11 counties: Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, […]

Kids at the Capitol 2017

Each legislative session brings its own bag of mixed goods, and the Regular Session of the 91st General Assembly was no different. While we were concerned about the constant push for legislation that punishes poor people, there were definitely some wins for families this year. The session began with an aggressive push by Governor Asa […]

Talk, Read, Sing: Helping our Littlest Learners Become School-Ready

In partnership with the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, today we’re releasing a new policy brief on the importance of talking, reading, and singing with children from birth. More than half of Arkansas children start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Research shows that simple, […]

What About the Children? How ACA Repeal Will Affect Kids

It’s not just about coverage for adults. As Congress continues the debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a replacement plan, a lot hangs in the balance for children, too. According to the Urban Institute, repealing the ACA will double the number of uninsured kids. In Arkansas, this means that at least 34,000 kids would […]