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"We know infusion works," Jeffress said. He said it was one reason why upper-income children succeed: "they have [these] experiences available to them."
"I've been aware of Paul and this program for a number of years," Jeffress said. "We've funded everything in the world except this."
Rep. Johnnie J. Roebuck, vice chair of the House committee and another supporter of Arkansas A+, asked to hear from Tom Kimbrell, the director of the state Department of Education.
Kimbrell's did not match the legislators' enthusiasm. "There are hundreds of programs that could make a difference," he said. He didn't think one method would work for every school.
It appears, however, that Leopoulos' doggedness is making inroads into the state's education establishment.
In December, the Education Department's Bednar said her office intends to ask its specialists to "spread an awareness of the A+ model." That's not the same as adopting it, but it's a start.
The A+ model is also cheap: $60,000 for three years of training for up to 30 teachers: only enough to keep it going. Bednar, the education commissioner for learning services, said program costs vary widely, some exponentially more expensive than A+, but "I believe the A+ Model certainly has promise and lends itself to not only helping improve student performance but also transforming schools and communities — something we can't put a price tag on."
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