Why We Need To Fix Education

Crime, poverty, and education are linked. We fix crime and we fix poverty by fixing education.

Our teachers and local school administrators are so worried about their bosses at the state Department of Education that we don’t get our kids out of classrooms and onto the playground.

Evidence says kids do better when you let them be kids and give them time to learn through activity. They need PE, recess, and extracurricular activities to learn teamwork and good citizenship.

Forcing teachers to “teach to the test” has failed our kids. Real learning opportunities in the classroom and on the playgrounds and athletic fields are lost because people decided that measuring was more important than learning.

We know that early childhood education reduces a child’s chance of future incarceration by 20%. If we can cut crime 20% just by teaching kids to read and be good citizens when they are little, we have to do it.

This school year, Louisiana public schools were 2520 teachers short. We don’t pay them and we don’t let them do their jobs. In Arkansas, the LEARNS Act increases the state’s minimum teacher salary from $36,000 to $50,000 and guarantees all teachers at least a $2,000 raise. Louisiana's starting average for a first year teacher is just $40,500. We need to raise teacher pay substantially to attract and retain good teachers.

Let our teachers teach. Let our kids learn. Build character and build community. It’s the difference between them growing up to be auto mechanics or car thieves.