The legislature’s special session looms, and though teacher pay remains conspicuously absent from the agenda, education activists are pulling out all the stops to make their voices heard. A bipartisan coalition led by For AR People, Arkansas Strong and Teach Plus Arkansas is hosting a block party and rally this Sunday to demand raises for Arkansas teachers and public school employees.

The Pay AR Teachers Block Party starts at 2:30 on Capitol Avenue in front of the State Capitol steps, so you can go hang out and partake in food trucks, face painting and poster-making before the rally begins at 4. The Little Rock Southwest High School marching band will be there too, to help get you hyped up about supporting teachers.

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“Our coalition wants educators to start the school year knowing how much they are valued and appreciated…and that we are and will continue to advocate for educators to be treated and financially compensated like professionals,” 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year and Teach Plus Arkansas Executive Director Stacey McAdoo said.

Arkansas’s average teacher starting salary ranks among the lowest in the nation, which puts us in dire straits as we hurtle towards a full-blown teacher exodus. Like the rest of the country, Arkansas faces a daunting teacher shortage, yet the majority of our legislators refuse to address the crisis. This rally is an opportunity to show some righteous anger on that front and demand accountability from our lawmakers and respect for our teachers. 

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