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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 has long been a big believer in A+ Arkansas, and Thursday was another big step in expanding the program.

The House Education Committee passed a bill asking for $2 million for a program to combine arts with academic lessons in Arkansas Schools.

Paul Leopolous with the THEA Foundation testified before the committee about how the program works. One member of the Education committee said it makes a huge difference in the lives of children.

"It has a proven track record. It is a wonderful, wonderful curriculum enhancement tool, and I'm just very, very happy that we are making progress on this front," explained James McClean, D - Batesville.

The mastermind behind Arkansas A+ was quick to point out the real winner of the day was his late daughter Thea and her inspiration of the arts.

"Her life has really spawned our understanding of what education is, and now we're trying to bring that to the state of Arkansas. To reach every child, you have to relate to that child, so this is an amazing day for us and an amazing day for our daughter," Leopolous added.

The bill will now head to the house for a vote.