School Choice/Education Discussion Panel

Conservative Arkansas is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a forum on Saturday, April 21st featuring five local experts in the area of Education/School Choice.

Saturday, April 21st
Rogers Public Library – Friends of RPL Community Room

The forum will feature the following speakers:

Dr. Patrick Wolf — Professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. Previously he taught at Georgetown and Columbia University. Wolf’s research on school choice programs across the country has been supported by 35 research contracts and grants totaling more than $13 million. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited three books and 83 journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports on school choice, civic values, special education, public management, and campaign finance. A 1987 graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 1995.

James Shuls — Doctoral Academy Fellow in education policy at the University of Arkansas and an education policy consultant for the Show-Me Institute. He is a former elementary school teacher with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in elementary education. More importantly, he is the father of a kindergartener and a first grader.

Randy Alexander— Candidate for State Representative, District 88. His interests include improving the Arkansas business climate to grow jobs and education reform to insure that all Arkansas kids have access to a quality education. Randy served 33 years as a Director of Housing at state universities. After retiring from higher education in May 2011, he is now an Associate Advisor at CBI-Sunbelt, helping people buy and sell businesses confidentially.

Justin Harris — State Representative, District 81. Currently runs state-funded faith-based preschool Growing God’s Kingdom which cares for 150+ children in West Fork, AR. Awarded Professionals of the Year award by the NWA Childcare Association. He and his wife Marsha have three children, ages 7, 9, & 10.

Charlie Collins — State Representative, District 89. Three of Charlie’s four children attend Fayetteville High School. The fourth is a freshman at the University of Arkansas. Believing every child should have the opportunities his kids have had, Charlie sponsored a bill to make tax credits available for corporations providing scholarships to private schools for the poorest Arkansan kids, currently trapped in failing schools. This bill has resulted in an interim study of the issue to further develop the mechanism and build consensus to give these children the chance for a decent education that they deserve. This study would form the basis for any action in the next general session of the legislature.

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to each of these speakers for taking time out of their schedules to come speak to us and ask that our membership make the most of this opportunity to learn more about education in Arkansas. Everyone on this panel has great knowledge about a different aspect of education. Combining all their knowledge into one panel will undoubtedly result in a fantastic discussion.

All are welcome to attend so please forward this information to anyone who might be interested — especially to parents!

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