"The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth." - Dan Rather
As a past Adjunct Professor for the University of Arkansas system, and the child of a lifelong Arkansas public school teacher, I understand well the challenges our teachers are facing. Nationally, almost half of all teachers will quit before their 6th year of teaching, and most list the primary reason they leave, as insufficient pay. Here in Arkansas, we are ranked the 3rd worst state, in teacher pay.
If we expect to recruit and keep qualified educators, we MUST do better.
Our kids deserve the best education available. School Choice has a proven record of lifting student achievement, education performance, staff moral, and teacher pay. Currently, Arkansas is 41st nationally in student performance. A large portion of this is reading. Currently, in Arkansas, almost 70% of 4th graders are NOT reading at a 4th grade level. This is not a path that can provide the future our Arkansas students deserve.
School Choice empowers parents to place their children in schools that can best fit the needs of those children. Whether it's specialized for math, writing, STEM or simply availability of specialized instruction for particular student challenges, empowering parents to choose the best education route for their child is a sustainable path, and one that I fully support.