Sunday, August 7, 2016

State GOP removes pre-k from party platform

Posted By on Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:27 AM

Doug Thompson of Northwest Arkansas News reports that delegates from the state Republican Party struck all support for pre-k form the state party platform at the GOP state convention yesterday in Rogers. 

Previously, the platform endorsed the idea of the state providing resources to ensure access for all parents who want pre-k education for their kids.

Only one of the 275 delegates in attendance spoke for retaining that paragraph, Thompson reports: Jacquelin Brownell of Benton County, who said, "If we remove this, what will our response be to people in poverty?"

The delegates approved removing the paragraph by voice vote. The result is that the state Republican Party platform simply makes no mention of pre-k at all. 

The Democratic Party of Arkansas issued the following repsonse: 

At their state convention yesterday, the Republican Party of Arkansas stripped all support for early childhood education, including universal Pre-K, from their party’s platform. Every Arkansan should ask their Republican representatives how they could support a party platform hostile to funding for early childhood education, Pre-K, and public libraries, while fighting for tax cuts to benefit the super-wealthy and lavish renovations to the governor’s mansion. Democrats are outraged by this Republican move to sabotage Arkansas’s economic future.

Despite crystal clear evidence early childhood education sets students down the path of academic and professional success, Arkansas Republicans have chosen to ignore countless scientific studies, the will of the people, and good old fashioned common sense.

This week the Democratic Party of Arkansas will make public our 2016 – 2018 party platform. Spoiler alert! Democrats will continue to demand support for quality, public Pre-K for every child in Arkansas regardless of family income or ZIP code.

Arkansas Democrats will continue to operate from the widely accepted, scientifically backed, common sense notion that many of our state’s problems begin with a lack of education, and that many of our most pressing challenges can be remedied with a high-quality, public education.

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