News and Updates | February 2021
"It's a movement to get people to understand the final decision needs to be up to the parent for the betterment of their children."

- HK Matthews, civil rights icon and education advocate
February is Black History Month
In the video above, civil rights icon HK Matthews explains that the essence of the civil rights movement is for people to be able to make choices for themselves, including choosing the best place for their kids to attend school.
Share your story via Storyvine!
The Reform Alliance has partnered with Storyvine to capture the stories of our community.

We invite you to help spread the message about the importance of education options by creating a video using the Storyvine app.
The app is fun and easy to use, but if you need a little boost of confidence to get you started, Storyvine is hosting a short training session that will have you filming like an expert in no time. The 30-minute training session will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. Click here to contact us to enroll in the training!

If you can't make the training, or if you are ready to roll on your own, click the button below.
#SchoolChoiceWeek wrap up
Last week, The Reform Alliance, a nonprofit focused on improving education in Arkansas, connected with students, schools and parents across the state in celebration of National School Choice Week.
EdChoice releases 2021 school choice comprehensive guide
The latest edition of "The ABCs of School Choice" explains the different variations of school choice initiatives and gives a state-by-state listing of programs.
Chicago teachers' unions refuse to return to classrooms
Teachers unions around the country are refusing to teach at the expense of students' education and mental health.
Arkansas Succeed Scholarship
These are the voices of Arkansas families who have benefited from Arkansas’s Succeed Scholarship Program:

"I am a firm believer that these funds are needed for families and single mothers such as myself. This opportunity has been a blessing to my son...Thank you again for this opportunity to be able to share my success story of my future scientist."

- Brittney, Succeed Scholarship parent

The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant.
Education bills of interest to our grassroots network
  • HB1371 - creates a new dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit program for individuals and businesses that contribute toward either flexible private-school scholarship accounts or grants for public schools serving predominantly low-income populations of students.
  • SB89 - Changes the IEP requirements for the Succeed Scholarship and establishes a lottery program for selection if applications exceed available scholarships.
  • HB1171 - Any student transferring schools using the Public School Choice Act is automatically eligible for interscholastic activities. 
  • SB25 - Schools do not have to count a student for the 3% cap of public school choice if a student has gone to the district for preschool.
  • HB1237 - Schools would have an option to provide virtual options permanently. The school year would be amended to not start before the Monday before Labor Day, and schools would have the option to implement an alternate school calendar. 
  • HB1151: For the 2020-2021 school year, HB1151 suspends the A-F rating system, an accountability measure for students and families to assess how well schools are performing and serving the needs of students. 
Microschools engage learners
More than 100 Arkansas students are now learning at microschools.

A microschool is an alternative method of learning where small groups of 5-10 study with a trained learning guide, usually at the guide’s home, a church or other similar environment. The Reform Alliance has provided scholarships through a privately funded grant to establish 10 microschools in the state. Community members have also formed an 11th microschool with independent funding.
We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world class education. Our mission is to create a network of parent and community leaders so every policy decision and every conversation about education starts and ends with how it impacts our kids.