Policy

Policy

The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading supports and advocates for policies supported by research that can have a positive impact on key factors contributing to building strong Arkansas readers:

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) manages the policy, advocacy, and research components of the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Since the establishment of AR-GLR, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has overseen an aggressive policy and advocacy agenda in support of AR-GLR and its impact areas. 

AR-GLR is currently focused on these top three policy priorities:

  • Build Arkansas's future workforce by providing adequate funding for current Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) pre-K programs so they can continue to offer high-quality education opportunities to our state's children. ABC has been proven to help close the achievement gap between children from low-income and higher-income families.
  • Provide funding for school and community partnerships for after-school and summer programs as laid out in the Positive Youth Development Act. Children who don’t attend quality summer programs can fall two to three grade levels behind their peers by 5th grade. 
  • Ensure that elementary school teachers have evidence-based tools for teaching reading. Many educators do not feel prepared to teach children to read.

View a handout about AR-GLR's policy priorities. (pdf)

Check out the below examples to learn more about our ongoing policy, advocacy, and research partnership with AACF.

  • Opportunities to Leverage ESSA: AR-GLR and AACF researched the opportunities the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) may provide Arkansas’s students and schools in early childhood education (ECE) and out-of-school learning. In contrast to the previous federal No Child Left Behind legislation, which focused almost entirely on third grade through high school graduation, ESSA allows Arkansas to leverage its successes in ECE and develop a more coherent birth-to-third-grade system that would increase the likelihood that all Arkansas students can read by the end of third grade.

  • Stand Up for Pre-K: AR-GLR and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families have partnered on an advocacy campaign to urge the state legislature to increase investments in the state’s high-quality pre-K program, Arkansas Better Chance. These efforts resulted in the program's first funding increase since 2008, but the availability of pre-K opportunities still falls short of the great need.
  • Grade-Level Reading Interim Study: In Oct. 2014, AR-GLR joined a working group of nonprofits and agencies to present this report to the state legislature’s education committees. The report outlines key strategies to help all Arkansas students read at grade-level by the end of third grade by 2020. These research-based strategies include making sure children are ready for school, improving what happens during the school day, and improving what happens after school and during the summer. Click here to read the summary.
  • Pre-K Interim Study: AR-GLR joined Arkansas nonprofits and agencies to present an interim study on pre-K to the state legislature in Nov. 2014. The report demonstrated the benefits of investing in early childhood education and the need for increased funding to maintain pre-K offerings to children in the state. 
  • Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading – A Call to Action: This report explains the importance of third-grade reading, shows how Arkansas performs on indicators of third-grade reading proficiency, and issues a call to action for achieving the AR-GLR’s goal. This report resulted in the launch of AR-GLR in 2012.