Arkansas Education

A Little Rock school that taught computer coding is closing its doors. Iron Yard, which has campuses nationwide, says the city wasn’t a good fit for its program, despite a growing demand for the skill. Arkansas Business reporter Sarah Campbell broke the story.

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for its interpreter education program.

UALR will collaborate with Tulsa Community College to bring students into the program where they're trained to become interpreters for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The five-year grant will be used to recruit students into the program and provide scholarships.

University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt announced today that he will recommend Andrew Rogerson, Ph.D., to the UA Board of Trustees as the next chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Bobbitt’s recommendation to the UA Board of Trustees will be considered at its next regularly scheduled meeting May 25-26 at Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas.

In its public announcement the University said:

Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton encouraged the 41 members of the 10th graduating class of the Clinton School of Public Service to focus on what makes people alike rather than what makes them different.

Members of the graduating class included citizens of Benin, China, Kenya, and Venezuela.

Helena-West Helena School District officials say they plan to request a property tax increase to support the remodel of a high school. 

The Helena Arkansas Daily World reports that the district's patrons will vote on the 9.75 percent increase in the November general election as they also elect a new school board. 

LRSD Civic Advisory Committee Chair Greg Adams tells Education Commissioner Johnny Key the group wants him to resign. Outgoing Superintendent Baker Kurrus watches, saying afterward "well said."
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Frustrations of advocates for Little Rock’s traditional public schools were on display at the Arkansas Department of Education build on Thursday even as the state Board moved toward a creating a new civic advisory group and a quickened academic review of the state-run district. 

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman reports that the state Board’s response to unrest likely won’t be enough to quell the community’s disdain.

National Institute for Early Education Research

An annual study shows Arkansas dropped from a ranking of 13 to 22 among states in the nation devoting resources to pre-kindergarten education. The National Institute for Early Education Research found that spending increased for pre-K nationwide in 2015 compared to the previous year, but Arkansas saw about a $1,255 decrease in spending per child despite having about 3,400 more kids enrolled in a pre-K program.

File photo. Arkansas State Board of Education auditorium.

A coalition of public school advocates lead by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel is planning to pack the state Department of Education building Thursday morning to make their case against what is being characterized as the “re-segregating” of Little Rock schools. It comes on the heels of one charter school apologizing for not sending recruitment mail to certain ZIP codes.

Judge Chris Piazza
Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge says he's siding with the state in a lawsuit that claims legislators didn't adequately fund public schools. He cited missteps in some areas but said he found nothing that violates the state's constitution.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said in a memorandum opinion issued Wednesday that the issues raised by Deer/Mount Judea School District didn't amount to a violation of the state's constitution. Piazza asked attorneys for the district and the state to draft a written order reflecting his findings.

Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock Campus

The Pulaski Technical College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to enter into a partnership agreement with the University of Arkansas System. The UA System Board of Trustees must also vote on whether to approve the merger. 

The decision comes after UA System Donald Bobbitt presented merger plans to the Pulaski Tech Board at its March 28 meeting.

After Wednesday’s vote, Pulaski Tech Board Chairman Donald Redman said the identity of the school should be left in place with a merger.