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Back to School & Back to the Fight for Universal Pre-K in Arkansas

For many parents in Arkansas this will be the final weekend of the summer.  For thousands of children in Arkansas, Monday will be his or her first day of school.  It’s “Back to School” time!
It is also time for us to return to the fight for Universal Pre-K in Arkansas.  
For the future of our children and the future economy of our state, there is no more important fight than the one to ensure Universal Pre-Kindergarten for every child in Arkansas.  Unfortunately for too many parents in Arkansas, access to high-quality early childhood education has become impossible.
We now know that 80% of a child’s brain development occurs before children enter kindergarten and a long-term study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota determined that the first 2,000 days (5 & 1/2 years) of  a child’s life “set the stage for everything else.” 
Children who are enrolled in Pre-K programs:
– 29% more likely to graduate from college.
– 33% more likely to be employed.
– 70% less likely to experience significant jail time.
 
Today, economists agree on the benefits of Universal Pre-K. According to a study by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, every dollar spent on pre-kindergarten returns up to $16 to a state’s economy!
Early childhood education has long been a top priority of Arkansas Democrats.  We led the fight in 2006, when Arkansas’s Pre-K program was ranked #1 in the country!  
We are now falling behind, because funding for our Pre-K program has been held flat since 2008 and an annual study shows Arkansas dropped from a ranking of 13 to 22 among states in the nation devoting resources to pre-kindergarten education.
We must change our priorities in the state legislature.  Help Arkansas Democrats put our children’s future first.
When it comes to the education of our children, the stakes couldn’t be higher.  Arkansas Democrats see our state’s public schools as the foundation of our collective future, and we must demand  Universal Pre-K across the Natural State.
 
We cannot do it without you.
– Arkansas Democrats