Arkansas Education

Local & Regional News
6:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Judge Again Denies Request To Delay Deseg Trial

A federal judge has rejected the Little Rock School District's motion to delay a coming trial on Arkansas' request to end long-running desegregation payments to three school districts.

Judge D. Price Marshall on Tuesday rejected the district's request to stay proceedings in the trial, set to begin Dec. 9. 

Little Rock schools argued that the trial should be delayed while a federal appeals court considers their claim that Arkansas' approval of charter schools in Pulaski County violates the desegregation agreement.

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Local & Regional News
2:59 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Arkansas Teacher Seeks Apology From Catholic School After Gay Marriage Firing

Tippi McCullough speaks to an audience, during a press conference in Little Rock.
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

A former teacher at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock is telling the public her story, after being fired from the private high school for marrying her female partner.

Tippi McCullough spoke to an audience of supporters and reporters Tuesday at an Arkansas event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign; a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy group.

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Local & Regional News
6:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Preparing To Convene For Special Session

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Legislature is to convene Thursday to begin a special session to try and avoid skyrocketing health insurance premiums for the state’s 47,000 public school employees.

In the short term, the plan calls for using $43 million from state surplus funds to avoid a 50 percent increase for insurance coverage that would take effect at the beginning of next year.

After initially not having enough lawmakers agreeing on a proposal, Wednesday Gov. Mike Beebe said some lawmakers had been swayed by changes in finding a long term solution.

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Local & Regional News
10:40 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Beebe Says He'll Call Special Session On Teacher Insurance Fix

File photo of Gov. Mike Beebe.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Members of the Arkansas Legislature are expected to convene for a special session Thursday afternoon to address health insurance increases for the state’s public school employees. 

Governor Mike Beebe will issue an official call for the special session later Wednesday. 

A 50 percent hike in insurance premiums for public school employees was set to take effect January 1, if lawmakers were unable to rally enough votes in support of a short term fix that would cap premium increases at 10 percent.

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Local & Regional News
6:28 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers To Discuss School Funding Issues

Arkansas Supreme Court Building

Arkansas lawmakers are set to discuss a state Supreme Court ruling that revives a lawsuit challenging the way the state funds education. 

The House and Senate Education committees planned to meet jointly Tuesday to discuss school funding issues such as transportation and school facilities. 

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Richardson were scheduled to discuss pending litigation that could affect educational adequacy.

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Local & Regional News
5:37 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Counting Votes On Teacher Insurance

Arkansas legislative leaders are counting votes to see if there's enough support for a package of bills that could be considered in a special session aimed at preventing teacher insurance rate hikes that are expected to hit thousands of teachers next year.

The chairmen of the House and Senate Education committees said Monday they hope to let Gov. Mike Beebe know by Tuesday whether there's enough support to pass the measures.

Beebe has said he won't call a special session unless there's consensus on the proposals.

Local & Regional News
12:01 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Arkansas Teachers Help Students Meet Economics Standards With Support From The Federal Reserve

High school students review class assignment.
Credit Roy Kaltschmidt / Flickr

Arkansas high school students are now expected to pass a semester-long course in economics. The new state mandate is a requirement for graduation. 

In order to help students meet course standards, a coalition of groups created an economics curriculum and training sessions for teachers in the state.

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Local & Regional News
9:27 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Court Partially Revives Arkansas School-Funding Case

The Arkansas Supreme Court has revived part of a lawsuit challenging the way the state funds its public schools.

On Thursday, justices reversed part of a Pulaski County judge's decision dismissing a lawsuit by the Deer/Mount Judea School District that claims the state has not lived up to the reforms ending the long-running Lake View school funding suit.

The court ruled that Deer/Mount Judea raised new issues that have emerged since the Lake View case ended in 2007.

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Local & Regional News
10:39 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Delay Sought In Trial For UCA Ex-Administrator

The University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to delay the upcoming trial for a former University of Central Arkansas administrator accused of commercial burglary. 

Jack Gillean faces an Oct. 28 trial in Van Buren County on the charges.

A pre-trial hearing was to be held Friday, but prosecutors are seeking a delay, saying they haven't received subpoenaed phone records in the case.

Gillean was chief of staff at UCA until his arrest last year. Prosecutors accuse him of giving a master key to a student who allegedly broke into professors' offices to steal test answers.

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Local & Regional News
4:26 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Arkansas Students Improve Performance On AP Tests

School exams in progress.
Credit AP

Education officials in Arkansas say the number of students in the state taking Advanced Placement tests has increased by 6.6 percent in 2013.

According to the College Board, the nonprofit entity that provides SAT and AP exams, Arkansas’s overall scores on AP tests have also improved with an 8.6 percent increase in the number of exams with a score of 3 or higher out of a possible 5.

Mary Kathryn Stein oversees AP programs for the state’s Education Department.

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