Arkansas Education

classroom desks
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Arkansas lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow taxpayers with tax-deductible 529 college savings plans to withdraw funds for tuition at public, private and religious K-12 schools.

A legislative subcommittee on Wednesday recommended including the change in a budget bill for the state treasurer's office. The proposal now heads to the Joint Budget Committee.

guns in schools
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Threats of gun violence have resulted in arrests at a handful of Arkansas schools in the days following a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

School district officials in Fayetteville and Gurdon said local police are investigating both online and verbal threats of violence reported to school administration. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported schools in Berryville, Mammoth Spring and Star City saw similar threats since the Feb. 14 mass shooting and reported them to police.

Dr. Kenneth Jones and and Dr. Laverne Bell-Tolliver were two of the 25 students who desegregated Little Rock's junior high schools in phase two of the school district's desegregation plan. Bell-Tolliver edited the book The First Twenty-Five, An Oral Histo
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The story of the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School by nine black students is well known. But overshadowed is phase two of the school district’s desegregation plan, which involved 25 students attending five previously all-white junior high schools in 1961 and 1962.

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.  

UAMS
UAMS.edu

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: 

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