LITTLE ROCK – Twenty-six teachers from 31 Arkansas school districts met with Governor Asa Hutchinson today to discuss ways to improve education and the teaching profession in Arkansas.

The discussion and luncheon came a day after the governor met with superintendents of 14 districts to discuss teacher pay. Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Commissioner Johnny Key attended both events.

“The opportunity to hear ideas and experiences from our teachers firsthand is invaluable,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Their view from the front lines lends a critical perspective to the issues that our schools and students face. This kind of dialogue is a key to ensuring that Arkansas students receive the best education we can give them.”

In preparation for the upcoming legislative session, Governor Hutchinson has partnered with ADE to hear ideas from teachers. Classroom teachers who are part of the Teacher Leader Advisory Group and former and current Teachers of the Year and Milken Educators attended Friday’s event.

The topics of discussion included salary, insurance benefits, professional development, recruitment, and retention.

“Governor Hutchinson’s request to hear and learn from educators continues Arkansas’ long-standing tradition and reputation of supporting teachers and students,” 2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Courtney Cochran said. “This event is a commitment to our students as our state’s future and to an excellent education, which is the key to unlocking the future.”