LITTLE ROCK — Republican gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman announced his education plan during a series of stops across the state Wednesday, including at the state Capitol.
The plan includes repealing the state’s school consolidation law and the Common Core Standards Initiative, and allowing school choice across the state.
“I’m convinced … that Arkansas can be one of the most prosperous states in the nation and that we have the capacities, we have the resources, we have the people to be a national leader in creating and attracting new businesses and new high paying jobs in Arkansas,” he said, adding that “education remains the most effective vehicle for financial and social mobility.”
Under the plan, called “Arkansas at the head of the class,” programs and standards required for teachers, including the Common Core Standards Initiative, would be eliminated so the teachers could have more time to teach, he said.
Legislation also would be filed to allow school choice across the state, so parents can choose where their children attend school, and repeal the state’s school consolidation law, which requires school districts face mandatory consolidation if they fall below 350 in average daily membership for two consecutive years.
Coleman said that since Act 60 of 2004, more than 118 school districts have been consolidated and more than 91 schools have been closed.
“Some of these schools have been the highest performing and best financially managed schools in the state, like the Weiner School District in northeast Arkansas,” the report said.
Coleman discussed his education plan during Wednesday morning visit to Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. He was to address a crowd at the Western Sizzlin steak House in Jonesboro Wednesday night.
Thursday he was discuss his proposal during stops in Texarkana, Magnolia and Monticello.