June 25th 2012
This morning, the Supreme Court struck down mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles. The decision will reverse an Arkansas court ruling in the case of Kuntrell Jackson, who was convicted of first-degree murder in Blytheville, Arkansas, in 1999. Although Jackson, who was 14 years old at the time, did not pull the trigger he received a sentence of life without parole for being an accomplice to murder. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families applauds today's decision, but calls on the state legislature to get rid of life-without-parole sentences for juveniles completely.
June 13th 2012
The Arkansas Insurance Department is quickly moving forward with its efforts to build a health insurance Exchange by January 2014. Though Arkansas will have a federally-facilitated Exchange, stakeholders are working to ensure that the state has a strong role in its implementation. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) says consumer-based principles, with a particular focus on Arkansas families, should guide decision-making on the exchange.
May 25th 2012
Arkansas has made access to quality early childhood education a priority over the last two decades, but high-quality programs for low-income families are either at full capacity or their funding has been stagnant for years. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) released a report today detailing the state of access to pre-K programs in Arkansas and calling for their expansion.
May 10th 2012
All children can learn and excel in school if they have the opportunity and the resources needed to be successful. A new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families urges the state of Arkansas to commit to making sure all children – no matter their background or zip code – have access to the same educational opportunities. These recommendations are part of what could become a Student Bill of Rights, guaranteeing every student the Opportunity to Learn. The Arkansas Public Policy Panel, the Arkansas Citizens First Congress, and the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign have endorsed the report.
April 12th 2012
Over 200,000 people in Arkansas are considered alcohol or drug dependent. Eighty percent of those suffering from addiction can't get access to treatment or recovery services. This creates huge costs down the road. What's being done about this in our state? Paul Kelly authored this report.
March 23rd 2012
It's been two years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. We've got lots of good info on our AR Voices blog, including an interview with Clinton School of Public Service student Marc Peters on how the law has improved his life.
March 16th 2012
New figures on child poverty compiled by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families show a disturbing upward trend that is likely to continue as our economy slowly recovers. The child poverty rate in Arkansas now stands at 26.8 percent, a number that is significantly higher than the national average of 20.1 percent.