Arkansas LEARNS: A Section-by-Section Summary

With many narratives around the LEARNS Act floating around, it can be hard to tell between fact and fiction. And understandably, most Arkansas families are not going to have the time to sit down and read all 144 pages of the legislation. In this report, we have summarized the most relevant sections of the LEARNS […]

How Arkansas Educators Lost Their Collective Bargaining Rights

Arkansas teachers lost more employment protections with the final passage of the Arkansas LEARNS Act. But before this bill was even filed, teachers here already had some of the weakest union bargaining rights in the nation. How did it come to this? The most recent law to contribute to this was Act 612 of 2021. […]

School Discipline in Arkansas: Reforms Needed to Improve Outcomes

We all want Arkansas schools to be safe, healthy, and orderly environments so every student can learn and thrive. Kids need clear expectations for behavior and logical consequences to grow academically and learn from their mistakes. However, many outdated school discipline policies and practices in Arkansas can create more problems than they solve. Harsh, arbitrary, […]

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Arkansas CCDF State Plan Analysis for FY 2019-2021 and FY 2022-2024

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization Act of 2014 requires state-led child care agencies to submit a plan every three years that outlines their state child care policies and plans for using their Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) resources. The CCDF is a federal and state partnership program to help families […]

Advocating for a fair and effective use of historic K-12 funding

We know that every parent, guardian and community member can be a powerful force in promoting an equal opportunity to learn in Arkansas, and we have an incredible opportunity to shape a huge investment in our K-12 education system here in the coming months. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Arkansas is receiving $1.2 billion […]

School Discipline that Works

Many Arkansas public schools still use ineffective and discriminatory school discipline policies. As a member of the state’s Task Force on School Discipline, Arkansas Advocates calls for more effective, research-based options to help improve outcomes for kids and schools.

Making Sure Every Student Succeeds: Understanding ESSA and School Report Cards

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading have produced a new guide to help parents understand the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Arkansas Department of Education now uses ESSA to measure how Arkansas’s students and schools perform. Arkansas’s ESSA plan is a welcome shift from the one-size-fits-all […]

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism for Children in Foster Care and FINS

Too many children in Arkansas are missing too much school to make academic progress. In 2014-15, 13 percent of K-12 students were chronically absent, meaning they missed 18 or more days of school (or 10 percent of the school year) for any reason, including being suspended. Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first […]