Curtis Coleman Responds to Ross Education Plan

Published 04/02 2014 04:31PM

Updated 04/02 2014 04:34PM

Curtis Coleman
Curtis Coleman
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Arkansas businessman and conservative Republican candidate for Governor responded to the Mike Ross pre-K education proposal today with these comments:

“Mr. Ross’ goals are laudable but his plan is not supported by real-world experience. In 1998, our neighbors in Oklahoma began providing ‘free’ preschool for all of the state’s four-year-olds. Oklahoma taxpayers pay mightily for the program, topping $146 million annually or about $7,400 per child. In the six years immediately preceding state-funded preschool, Oklahoma reading scores were higher than the national average. Today, Oklahoma children score 4 points below the national average. In fact, Oklahoma ranks last in the nation on the NAEP for fourth-grade reading gains since 1992. That's a zero return on a 15-year investment.

“If we want to ‘reduce the number of Arkansans in prisons or living on government assistance, if we want a better-educated workforce to attract the good-paying jobs of the future’, we must stop forcing every student into a four-year degree mold and return vocational and technical training to our high schools and two-year community colleges. Arkansas is desperate for a skilled labor force, and we won’t be able to fully revive our economy and produce the kind of good-paying jobs Arkansans are looking for until we restore vocational training to our education priorities.”

Curtis Coleman’s “Arkansas at the Front of the Class” education plan is available here.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.