What Do Our Littlest Learners Need to Be School-Ready?

When do children begin to learn? Believe it or not, school readiness begins in the womb. Decades of research show the first few years of life, including the prenatal months, are the most important for healthy brain development and success in school. Unfortunately, too many of our kids aren’t getting the boost they need for […]

Arkansas Works 2.0: Proposed Changes Will Affect Progress

In our latest brief, health care policy fellow Bruno Showers analyzes proposed changes to Arkansas Works and the troublesome impact they will have on Arkansans, our state budget, and our health care system. Plus, we offer some suggestions to ensure the roll-out of these changes causes minimum health coverage disruptions. Here’s what you really need […]

Getting Children the Early Screenings They Need

Health coverage is one of the most important resources that children need to thrive and grow into healthy adults. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ensure that nearly half of Arkansas children — over 400,000 — have access to health care coverage. The important investments made in children’s coverage, at both the federal […]

The Effect of Juvenile Justice Reform

A productive and efficient juvenile justice system creates a stronger workforce, reduces ongoing expenses related to incarceration, and helps kids avoid pitfalls that could keep them from achieving their potential. The juvenile justice system in Arkansas is in desperate need of reform. If left untouched, it will continue to have severe consequences for the economy and […]

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 […]