The ultimate goal of the Institute’s Arkansas Education Policy Initiative is to create statewide education policy recommendations and actions that will improve the state’s national standing in K-12 educational outcomes. In addition to being an economic boost, we believe these recommendations could lead to more funding for education
During our first collaborative session on Feb. 23-24, 40 participants met with the goal of selecting top focus areas within Arkansas education policy for working groups to address. The session was unfortunately cut short due to a winter storm, but the participants have agreed to continue their work virtually through March 2022.
“Never once did I doubt that our top priority had to go to education. Our oldest problems are rooted there, and surely our brightest opportunities for the future are to be found there.” — Winthrop Rockefeller
This work provides an opportunity for the Institute to pursue its mission of continuing Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller’s collaborative approach to creating transformational change in the world of education policy in Arkansas — an area for which he demonstrated deep concern.
Creating the Arkansas Education Policy Initiative
In 2021, the Institute was approached by potential partners with a desire to collaborate with a diverse group of key participants:
- Education leaders
- K-12 and university administrators
- Policy makers
In November 2021, the Institute hosted a topic dinner with 13 education and state leaders. Nine virtual focus groups were held in the following months, culminating in our first in-person collaborative session held Feb. 22-23, 2022. A second collaborative session is planned for June 2022.
We believe this group can effectively identify policies to improve Arkansas’s K-12 education system so that it effectively meets the needs of our children and families, most likely at the level of the state legislature or the Arkansas Department of Education.