Change from the ground up thanks to Arkansas Public Policy Panel

Arkansas Times - June 6, 2013

In the town of Gould just two years ago, most who surveyed the scene would conclude that the government was broken. Years of mismanagement in the town of 1,300, about 30 miles southeast of Pine Bluff, had led to a city bankruptcy and crippling IRS debt. Two of the City Council members were holding office illegally, and many citizens had lost faith in the democratic process. Irregularities at the ballot box included candidates and candidate family members literally looking over voters' ballots at the polls... Read More Here

Report takes pokes at I-30 plan; firm says wider corridor will add to congestion

ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE - April 13, 2016

The report cited 10 examples around the nation of freeway widenings that didn't ease congestion as forecast. The most notable example was the Katy Freeway in Houston, which at 26 lanes is the widest in the world, yet is the eighth-most congested freeway in Texas.

"Urban freeway congestion cannot be solved through expansion because induced travel always follows roadway expansion," the report said. "The larger roads just fill up with traffic again." Read more...

AR Board of Education votes to review Little Rock Charter Schools Proposal

KAtv 4 NEWS - MARCH 10, 2016

Bill Kopsky has two kids in the district. He says he is relieved that a hearing has been set.

" I was kind of taken aback from some of the comments that compared schools to cars. shopping centers, to hard ware stores. my child is not a car, my child is not a store, my child is not a widget or screwdriver. public schools were written into our founding fathers documents and into the state constitution because they are not a commodity"... Watch Video Here

State Board of Ed. to decide on review of charter schools expansion

KATV - MARCH 9, 2016

"This is re-segregation of the public schools and that's going to be wrong today, it's going to be wrong five years from now, it's going to be wrong 50 years from now," said Bill Kopsky, Arkansas Public Policy Panel's Executive Director... Watch Video Here

Arkansas Education Board Votes To Remove Two School Districts From State Control

Times Record (Online Edition) - March 11, 2016

Bill Kopsky, executive director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, said, “When you look at the facts, when you do a review, you will find that these proposals will lead to further segregation of Little Rock schools. The student body of these two charter schools is vastly different from the public school community in greater Little Rock”... Read More Here

Contentious Little Rock Charter Expansion On State Ed Board Agenda

kuar - March 9, 2016

eStem Public Charter School and LISA Academy plan to expand their campuses by a combined 3,000 students. That has drawn opposition from some who see the potential expansion as harming efforts to improve academic achievement in the Little Rock School District... Read More Here

Charter expansions get 2nd look

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - March 11, 2016

"You assumed responsibility for this district when you disbanded our School Board," Kopsky said about the January 2015 state takeover of the district because six schools were labeled as academically distressed. "You are now the Little Rock residents' representatives on school policy. There is no one else accountable to us except you"... Read More Here

Arkansas Citizens' Climate Lobby Gaining Steam

KUAF - Ozarks At Large - August 24, 2015

Fayetteville Citizen's Climate Lobby and Arkansas Public Policy Panel hosted a fiesta last week to introduce a carbon fee and dividend initiative that, if adopted advocates say, will ease greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of climate change... Listen to the Full Story Here

Must Address Racial Inequities

Editorial - ARKANSAS TIMES - JUNE 25, 2015

We mourn for the families of the dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. As we grieve it's time to rekindle a conversation about race in America and press for the changes that the Emanuel congregation championed for centuries — changes that also made it a target... Read More Here

Report Focuses on Mental Health Treatment, Reform in State Lockups

KARK 4 News - June 18, 2015

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel presented a report to the Behavioral Health Treatment Access Legislative Task Force which suggests diverting people or potential inmates with a mental illness into crisis centers... Watch Video Here

Report: Mental Health Prison Reform Can Save Arkansas $140 Million

KNWA News - June 18, 2015

WASHINGTON COUNTY, AR-- Proposed prison reform could save the state of Arkansas up to $140 million a year. The Arkansas Public Policy Panel discussed their report findings with state legislators at the Capitol Thursday... Watch the Video Here

Report: Treat Mentally Ill, Don’t Imprison Them

Talk Business & Politics - June 19, 2015

Diverting offenders with mental illness into treatment instead of incarcerating them could save Arkansas $140 million a year, according to a rough estimate in a new report issued Thursday by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel... Read More Here

Report: Incarcerating Mentally Ill People 20 Times More Costly than Treatment 

Arkansasnews.com - June 18, 2015

The cost to prosecute and incarcerate a mentally ill prisoner over a year’s time is about 20 times higher than the cost to provide the same person with crisis treatment and counseling... Read More Here

Arkansas Public Policy Panel Advocates Mental Health Centers For Inmates

KUAR - June 18, 2015

“People with mental illness are not receiving the proper treatment that would allow them to return to their families” ... Read More Here

More Evidence that Treatment Saves Taxpayers Money

Treatment Advocacy Center - June 23, 2015

A study released earlier this week has confirmed what the Treatment Advocacy Center and common sense have been saying for years: It costs more to incarcerate someone with serious mental illness than it does to provide treatment and counseling... Read More Here

Treat, don't jail, the mentally ill

Editorial - Arkansas Times - August 20, 2015

Arkansas has an opportunity to address our incarceration crisis, save the state money and make our communities safer by helping people with mental health problems... Read More Here

Editorial: Treating Mental Health Patients Cheaper, Better Than Incarcerating Them

Times Record (Online Edition) - June 21, 2015

The study, commissioned by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, concluded that the cost to prosecute and incarcerate a mentally ill prisoner over the course of one year is 20 times higher than the cost to provide the same person with crisis treatment and counseling... Read More Here

An Arkansas legislative session full of misplaced priorities

Editorial - Arkansas Times - April 16, 2015

Communities like Gould, where I am chief of police, need help from lawmakers. But lawmakers delivered very little of what Gould needs: namely jobs, opportunity and meaningful education improvements... Read More Here

Nine Groups Announce Opposition to School Privatization Bill

Arkansas Times - March 16,2015

A coalition of education advocates announced today their firm opposition to HB1733, which would allow the state to privatize public school districts declared in academic distress... Read More Here

Groups Rally Against School Privatization

KARK 4 News - March 16,2015

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Groups representing education professionals met Monday to voice concerns about legislation allowing some school districts to be privatized... Watch Video Here

Education Advocates Oppose School Privatization Bill

THV11 - March 16,2015

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Education advocates from across the state of Arkansas are uniting in opposition to a school privatization bill... Watch Video Here

House Member Pulls Nonprofit School District Proposal

THV11- March 17,2015

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - A proposal to allow private nonprofits to take control of failing Arkansas school districts endorsed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been pulled by its sponsor.

School Privatization Bill Pulled for this Session

Arkansas Times - March 17, 2015

The rally in opposition to the bill at the Capitol tonight turned into a victory party. Cheers erupted when the news was announced to a crowd of about 400... Read More Here

Ark. Reverend Warns Controversial Bill Could Discriminate Against Christians

NBC News - April 1, 2015

Rev. Stephen Copley says Wednesday that he opposes House Bill 1228 as currently written and that the controversial piece of legislation could eventually leave Christians vulnerable to discrimination... Watch Video Here

Learning from Arkansas: Social Progress in an Age of Polarization

Nonprofit Quarterly - April 27, 2012

What does a small, southern state have to teach the rest of the nation about how to make progress during challenging times on big social issues like education, health care, tax and budget priorities, the environment and more? The surprising answer is—plenty... Read More Here

Report: Achievement gaps remain despite progress in education

ArkansasNews.com - February 19, 2015

LITTLE ROCK — Despite progress in education in Arkansas, achievement gaps remain, according to a report released Thursday.

“While the state has made slight progress on closing the achievement gap to date, we are at a turning point,” said Jerri Derlikowski, education policy director at Arkansas Advocates, which released the report, “Education in the Post Lake View Era.” ... Read More Here

School District Separation Bill Fails House Committee

Arkansas Online - February 10, 2015

... Gloria Majors with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel spoke against the bill and said she echoed Walker's position.

"I graduated form an integrated school where we got hand-me-down curriculum and substandard in other things like band instruments," Majors said. "From what this bill looks like to me, it looks like it's headed towards another segregation." ... Read More Here

PC&E Grants Another Hog Farm Moratorium

Talk Business & Politics - April 24, 2015

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission voted Friday to enact a 180-day moratorium on granting permits for new medium and large swine operations in the Buffalo National River Watershed – the third temporary ban enacted by the commission... Read More Here

State Issues New Hog Farm Moratorium

The Baxter Bulletin - April 24, 2015

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel and the Ozark Society have pressed for a rule-making change that would prevent other medium or large hog farms and confined animal operations from setting up shop near the Buffalo... Read More Here

Moratorium on Hog Farm Permits Renewed

Arkansasnews.com April 24, 2015

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission voted Friday to approve a third 180-day moratorium on issuing hog farm permits in the Buffalo River watershed... Read More Here

Policy Groups Putting Arkansas First

Sync - June 24, 2014

The APPP and CFC have worked diligently to create policies that, if adopted, will make our state better and stronger for future generations. These groups give a voice to those who are often overlooked and locked out of the legislative process, and they remain committed to standing in between our most vulnerable citizens and regressive policies... Read More Here

Grassroots Organizing Powered 2012 Campaigns

Equal voice News - November 25,2012

In the small town of Gould, Ark., a city council that angered much of the community by banning citizen groups from meeting was replaced with new council members on Election Day. But change in the deeply divided community came at the expense of threats, a burned house and false arrests... Read More Here