Arkansas has taken over the financially struggling Mineral Springs School District, dissolving the southwest Arkansas district's school board.
Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell on Thursday announced the state had taken over the district, which had been classified as fiscally distressed in December. The state Education Department says the district faces a severe budget deficit and doesn't have sufficient cash flow to finish the fiscal year.
Acting district Superintendent Bill Blackwood will stay on board until Kimbrell appoints a new superintendent.
Harding University has opted out of a state law that allows faculty and staff members to carry concealed guns on campus.
Harding spokesman David Crouch says the private school already has a no-weapons policy in place in campus. He says the school's board of trustees voted to continue that long-standing policy and not allow any weapons on campus.
Crouch tells The Daily Citizen that the policy is in effect for Harding's campuses in Searcy, North Little Rock, Rogers and Memphis, Tenn.
Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway says expected cuts to state scholarship programs will affect students applying for those awards for this coming school year and beyond.
He says during the recent legislative session the Department didn’t get a requested additional $7 million to shore up estimated shortfalls, but did get $2 million to save the Governor’s Distinguished Scholarships. That scholarship goes to 300 high-achieving students.
The Arkansas General Assembly this session enacted legislation on both public charter school authorization and inter-public school transfers. Phyllis Stewart, Arkansas Department of Education Chief of Staff, explains how both measures will work to expand school choice options.
A University of Arkansas Board of Trustees committee is meeting this week to review proposed tuition and fee increases at its campuses across the state.
The Fiscal Affairs Committee meeting begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Little Rock.
Institutions that have proposed tuition and fee increases exceeding 3.5 percent have been asked to appear. They include the University of Arkansas-Little Rock; UA-Fort Smith; UA-Monticello; and UA-Pine Bluff. The proposed increases range from 4.9 percent at UALR and UAPB and 5.4 percent at UAM to 10 percent at UAFS.
The Arkansas Department of Education and the state Department of Human Services are working together to fund a Pre-K program for less fortunate children.
As KUAR’s Kezia Nanda reports, officials said research shows that since the program started, the education gap between economically-disadvantaged and affluent children has shrunk.
The event was held at Amboy Elementary School in North Little Rock, which hosts one of the Pre-K programs supported by a state-funded program for economically-disadvantaged students, called the Arkansas Better Chance or ABC.