64% of Arkansas’s general revenue (over $3 billion) goes to education (46% General, 18% Higher). Throw in local millages and federal support (e.g. $142,699,808 local, $115,221,936 state, $80,757,150 federal in Little Rock alone), and public school districts are the largest local government entities in the state, generally dwarfing their respective city and county budgets.
And yet, school board and millage elections are held on an obscure date in September and generally decided by hundreds, if not tens, of votes.
This insider system has empowered incumbent school board members, administrators, and teachers unions to drive local and state education policy, while disengaging parents (public, private, home school), employers and citizen property tax payers.
If the current governance model were delivering excellence to every student in Arkansas and properly preparing them for post-secondary (two and four-year) education and the workforce, change would be unnecessary. But it’s not.
Arkansas Learns, a new nonprofit, nonpartisan alliance, empowers the private sector – employers, parents, citizens – to assert individual and collective leadership to ensure excellent education for all students so Arkansas and her people may have the talent and workforce necessary to successfully compete in a global economy.
Further, Arkansas Learns‘ highly interactive, user friendly online community gives members the opportunity to connect on local and state levels, take action by joining Local Voter Groups, track state bills and local initiatives, tell state and local elected and appointed officials how they want them to vote on those issues, and hold those officials accountable for their actions.
By making the first investment in Arkansas Learns, The Walton Family Foundation has given the students and business community of Arkansas a gift. It is now up to Arkansas’s employers, parents and citizens to accept that gift and fully prepare all of our students for success by insisting on the following core principles:
- Students (Customer) First Focus
- Innovation, Best Practices & Choice
- Return on Investment
As an introduction to Arkansas Learns, the first year’s membership is available, without fee, to all business/organization members of local, regional and/or state chambers of commerce and/or economic development organizations.
Further, parents and citizens may also join as individuals without fee in the first year.
Employers wishing to take a leadership role in the organization and amplify their voice by including their employees as sub-accounts may join as a Founding Honor Roll Investor, with annual memberships accompanied by increasingly enhanced marketing value and benefits ranging from $100 (Graduate) to $50,000+ (Valedictorian) annually.
Whatever your level of investment, join today! Because…
When Arkansas Learns, Arkansas Earns
Arkansas Learns reserves the right to deny, revoke or suspend any membership, including online community privileges, for any reason.