Arkansas

Arkansas's Opportunity Gap

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Over 200 members of the Arkansas OTL Campaign made their way to Little Rock an Education Advocacy Day! Their goal: show their support for education reforms that provide every student with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn and highlight the progress the state has made in the past decade by implementing sound, research-based policies. Read more here!

Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this comprehensive state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), a member of the AR OTL Campaign. School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. As this report shows, Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. To say they're contentious is to put it mildly. Admist a nationwide backlash, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a member of the Arkansas OTL Campaign, has released a short guide for parents to answer some of the biggest questions about the Common Core and its impact on their children's schools.

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OTL allies in Arkansas came close to securing more funding for the state's pre-k program this year, but unfortunately will have to try again in the next budget season. Despite the nationwide push to expand pre-k access, AR legislators instead put more funding towards expanding the state's prison system.

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Education organizers in Arkansas held a press conference at the state capitol highlighting the improvement Arkansas schools have made over the past decade and how additional reforms like pre-k and afterschool programs can help all students succeed.

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Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is hosting a Policy Café in Arkadelphia on Nov. 6. Policy cafés are a self-guided mini-conference where participants can choose from discussions that center around issues that impact children and families in Arkansas. Register today!

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A new brief from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families shows the importance of school facilities in a child's education and how fixing disparities can help all students succeed.

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Report
Jerri Derlikowski Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Oct 2013
The quality of school facilities can have a major impact on the education that our children receive and whether they succeed in school. Research, court decisions, and states have long recognized that disparities in access to basic school facilities can lead to differences in educational outcomes, especially for low-income students. This brief makes the case that state funding for school facilities in Arkansas should be increased to meet the needs of all districts. The official standards, that facilities need only be warm, safe, and dry, is not good enough.
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Data
Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jul 2013
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.
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Policy
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, May 2013
The Arkansas OTL Campaign has had an eventful first year and has drawn wide attention to a variety of education issues from fair funding to school discipline. A report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), an AR OTL member, details the impact and success advocates have had in pushing for systemic change and opportunity for all.
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