Gov. Mike Beebe spoke to members of the Arkansas School Boards Association this morning. It’s always a speech that lauds school board members for their service and touts Beebe’s twin priorities of economic development and education, but this was a little more spirited. He sounded like a man who had just won his last (I think) campaign.
Beebe said he had been interviewed by Bloomberg News that morning about the fact that Arkansas is one of a handful of states not going dead broke, and he compared the state’s situation to its neighbors and to the federal government. “We’ve got problems, but good Lord, compared to the rest of the world, we’ve got a lot for which to be thankful,” he said.
He made a couple of cracks about the campaign and the fact that he had the money to pay for high-priced consultants and campaign staff. And he said that one of the findings of his focus groups was that Arkansans had a problem believing that Education Week had ranked Arkansas 10th in education.
Maybe that’s because Arkansans instinctively know the state still has a long way to go in certain areas, even compared to other states. But it’s true that the state is making progress. And, compared to other states, and especially the federal government, we’re not going broke, at least not now.