Public Education

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Public Education

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State Legislator Working Group

National Working Group on Public Education

The National Working Group on Public Education is a coalition of state legislative leaders committed to advancing public education and defending against policies that undermine the needs of students, families, and communities. The legislators belonging to the Working Group believe in the enduring importance of public schools and are determined to improve educational opportunities for all children.

The members of the Working Group believe:

  • The institution of public education has a unique importance for individuals, communities, and American society.
  • Strong public schools dedicated to teaching all children are America’s best hope for the future.
  • In order to provide quality schools for all children in all communities using public revenues, government must play a leading role in adequately funding, regulating, and managing public schools.
  • Public schools can be strengthened by implementing positive reforms in all school districts and adhering to time-tested principles such as being open to all children, free for all families, welcoming of diversity, adequately funded, governed by locally elected boards, and providing equal opportunities to learn for students.

Chair of the Working Group

Senator Joyce Elliott, AR

Photo of Senator Joyce Elliott, AK Joyce Elliott was elected to the Arkansas State Senate in November 2008 where she represents District 33 and serves as the Majority Whip. In the Senate, Elliott serves on the Education; Insurance and Commerce; and Retirement Committees.

Also a former State Representative, Joyce Elliott was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in November 2000. In December 2006, she finished her final term in the House due to term limits. During her tenure in the House, she served on the Committees on the Judiciary; Aging, Youth, and Families; Education, where she chaired the Subcommittee on Higher Education; State Agencies; and Budget. In her final term, she was Chair of the Education Committee and served on the Committees on Insurance and Commerce; Budget; Personnel; and Energy.

A native Arkansan, Elliott was born in Willisville, where she graduated from high school. She earned an undergraduate degree in English and speech from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in 1973 and a graduate degree in English from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1981. For the thirty-one years, Elliott taught high school juniors and seniors (both Advanced Placement and nonadvanced).

She is immediate past executive director of the Central Little Rock Promise Neighborhood, a partnership of families, organizations and individuals committed to doing “whatever it takes” to ensure children have happy, healthy, productive lives.

Elliott has one son, Elliott Barnes and one grandchild, Athena Jolie.


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