Each week, I am delighted to share with you the opportunities I have had to spend time getting to know the constituents in the community. This week, I attended two such events. One was local, and the other was on the state level.

Last weekend, the A.L. Reed High School class of 1969, celebrated their 50th high school reunion. This event was not only a commemoration of reaching such a longevity milestone, but it was also a testament of what the class had overcome during that time in history.

The year 1969 was a challenging time in our nation’s history when young people overcame such challenges as civil rights and desegregation. Some of their actions have undoubtedly changed history forever. I enjoyed celebrating their past and present achievements.

The second community event I was able to attend was the annual Arkansas Boys State event. I was joined by several of my legislative colleagues including US Senator Tom Cotton. Arkansas Boys State is a part of the national organization, American Legion. It is one of the most respected educational programs where young men, as well as young women in its counterpart, Girls State, learn about and mock participate in state and local government.

The young men were able to visit with legislators about existing as well as possible future legislation. The event took place on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway as well as the State Capitol in Little Rock.

My experiences with the reunion and Boys State have inspired me to reflect upon how education impacts us throughout our entire lives. Quality education enables us to make and maintain connections. For example, Boys State and Girls State provides an opportunity for students to learn about the importance of becoming involved in the lawmaking process because it affects every area of our lives. The reunion made me reflect because our early educational experiences will bind us to others for a lifetime.

The same is true for strategic legislation. Considering the big picture, the Arkansas Legislature has allocated $31 million for public education for the fiscal year 2020 budget. The 92nd Assembly has enacted strategic legislation including increased per student funding from $6,713 to $6,899; increased minimum starting teacher salaries from $31,400 to $36,000; more flexibility when awarding the Arkansas Future Grant; more leniency for in-state tuition; more provision for school lunches; and many more programs that enhance the educational experiences of our young constituents.

Further, the federal government has made provisions for the Summer Meals for Arkansas Children program. All children age 18 and younger are eligible to receive free nutritious meals starting June 3 thru early August. Find a site near you by visiting www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks, calling 1-866-3-HUNGRY, or texting FOOD to 877877.

Each week I like to share informative as well as useful information that constituents might possibly use to better themselves or their communities. Finally, if you have questions about any legislation or the legislative process, feel free to contact me at my House of Representatives email at don.glover@arkansashouse.org or by phone at 501-682- 6211. Follow me on Facebook @GloverForAR.

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