Arkansas Education

Local & Regional News
3:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Arkansas Poll: State Continues To Lean Republican

University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus.
Credit / Alfred Carrillo

Results from a new survey of Arkansas residents show people are concerned about ongoing economic instability. 

Analysts at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville say the 2013 Arkansas Poll reveals only 63 percent of respondents feel the state is headed in the right direction, a result that is 10 points lower than last year. 

The findings released Wednesday also underscore ways the political climate is shifting in the state.

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Local & Regional News
6:05 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Arkansas Senate President Names 4 To Insurance Panel

Arkansas Capitol

Senate President Michael Lamoureux has named four lawmakers to a task force created as part of a package of laws aimed at overhauling and increasing funding to the health insurance program for thousands of public school teachers. 

Lamoureux on Tuesday named Republican Sens. Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers and David Sanders of Little Rock and Democratic Sens. Linda Chesterfield of Little Rock and Eddie Cheatham of Crossett to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program Legislative Task force. 

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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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