Poll Finds Big Support for High-Speed Internet Access in Arkansas Schools

LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - A recent study conducted by national strategy and research firm, The Winston Group, finds close to 70 percent of Arkansas voters would support a proposal to allow schools to connect to an existing high-speed network. Voters believe the proposal would generate positive outcomes for the state, including economic growth and helping the state’s workforce. Arkansas voters and parents had a positive reaction to the idea of a special session to discuss the proposal. The study, which was commissioned by FASTERArkansas, polled 600 registered Arkansas voters August 25–27, 2014. 

“This survey shows that Arkansas voters are concerned about the state’s public education system and do not think that children are being given enough tools to prepare them for the future,” Myra Miller, Senior Vice President at The Winston Group said. “The proposal to allow schools to connect to an existing high-speed network has support across party lines, including parents. Voters and parents recognize that this proposal has the potential to generate positive outcomes for students and help move the state forward." 

Last month Gov. Mike Beebe and the EducationSuperHighway announced a partnership, which called for a comprehensive effort to connect all Arkansas students to high-speed Internet. Current law (Act 1050) prohibits K-12 schools from having the option to access a taxpayer funded fiber-optic infrastructure (ARE-ON). Of the 42 states with such an infrastructure Arkansas is the only one that has a law that blocks K-12 public schools from accessing it.  

Click here to learn more about FASTERArkansas, an organization dedicated to making sure every Arkansas student receives a 21st century education. 

*See attached poll and key findings

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