Arkansas Education

Arkansas public colleges and universities are weighing in on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's request for an in-state tuition freeze. The Republican governor included the request in his proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year presented Tuesday to the Joint Budget Committee of the Arkansas Legislature. It comes ahead of  coincides with Hutchinson's proposal for next month's fiscal session of the legislature to increase the budget for state Higher Education by $10 million.  


The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences says it will lay off 258 workers and leave another 350 or so positions unfilled as it addresses a $30 million hole in its budget.

The university chancellor notified 10,900 employees Monday. The school said in a statement it could no longer use reserve money to ensure that it wouldn't exceed its $1.5 billion budget. Spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said the cuts will save $30 million in the rest of this fiscal year and about $60 million next year.

UAMS has employees in 73 of the state's 75 counties.

Presidential Pet, Dean of Pets, and Director of Pet Life Wendy King
Lyon College

Lyon College announced it is opening a pet-friendly residence hall beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Dogs and cats will be able to join their human companions in the dorm – and to roam all over the 145 year old campus in Batesville. The college says it's the first in Arkansas to allow animals to live on campus with students.

College President W. Joseph King says in a press release it’s a progressive step for student life that comes from the heart, "Like many of our students, my family has had beloved dogs and cats. We know how much they are a part of your life."

Sending children to the principal's office has long been a traditional punishment for unruly students. But Principal Michelle Hutton at Elmdale Elementary in Springdale offers safe haven where children can talk about what's troubling them, including traumatic events.

Elmdale faculty and staff have partnered with Ozark Guidance, a regional community mental health center, to learn how to assess students struggling with trauma to provide them proper help.

The University of Arkansas has announced it will hire Hunter Yurachek as its new athletics director. The announcement followed several media reports that Yurachek had been hired.

J. Matthew Grant / University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’s Department of Physics in Fayetteville has announced progress that could lead to a great reduction in the size of electronics. Assistant Professor Dr. Hugh Churchill spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen to explain this development.

An east Arkansas school district is being taken over by the state, effective Monday.

The Department of Education says a review last month found the Earle School District had "substantial audit violations and unallowable expenses." Close to $2 million in improper expenditures of state and federal funds are alleged beginning in the fall of 2015.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key said in a statement: 

A high school student participates in early college

A national study by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University reports that programs in Arkansas that let high school students take college-level classes through their local community college appear to be doing a good job of benefiting people of all incomes.

An official with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education told lawmakers Thursday the department is moving ahead with forming procedures to try to address sexual assault on college campuses.

The Department is approaching a November 3 deadline to create a plan for preventing sexual assault and for providing more comprehensive education on how sexual assault is legally defined.

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas will be handing out cash to high school students who pass an Advanced Placement test in computer science. The Arkansas Department of Education announced the launch of the Arkansas Advanced Placement Computer Science A Incentive Program designed to encourage computer science education by rewarding students as well as schools.