Arkansas Education

Erica Suskie
KATV, Channel 7 News

A former volunteer substitute teacher has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree sexual assault charge related to an alleged affair with a teenager.

Former Catholic High School substitute teacher Erica Suskie entered the plea in North Little Rock District Court Tuesday. Her husband, Paul Suskie, is a former chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission who ran unsuccessfully in 2006 for the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Attorney General.

Gov.'s Radio Column: Teach For America

Jan 30, 2016
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's radio column for the weekend of Jan. 29, 2016:

Being from a small town, I understand the need and the challenge of recruiting top quality teachers to rural parts of the state. There is a real need for talented teachers in every part of Arkansas, especially in our low-income communities.

Low enrollment at the Little Rock School District's Academy for Gifted and Talented children has prompted plans to convert it into a pre-kindergarten center in the 2016-17 school year.

File photo: LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus, Democrat Gazette publisher and charter advocate Walter Hussman, and Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Wednesday that 150 Teach for America positions will be funded by $3 million dollars over three years from his discretionary funds. Another $3 million in private donations will fund 65 positions in Little Rock schools.

Gov. Hutchinson Tours Jonesboro High School, Promotes Coding Education

Jan 25, 2016

Anita Bellew said Monday that there has been a tradition at Nettleton High School for many years of students learning about the real world that awaits them.

About 30 students had the opportunity to hear from Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) about his plans for computer coding and workforce development. Hutchinson was in Jonesboro to discuss the computer coding program, which began earlier this school year. About 4,000 students in the state have already enrolled in the program, with $5 million set aside to retrain teachers for the program.

Governor Radio
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Column for the weekend of Jan. 15, 2016:

This afternoon I will be visiting three schools in Gravette, a small town in Northwest Arkansas. As a Gravette native, I am excited to get back to the place where I grew up on a farm on the Spavinaw Creek south of town.

Five school districts in Arkansas have been named AP Honor Roll Districts. The distinction is handed down by the College Board, which sets standards and course materials for Advanced Placement classes in high schools. The five districts are among 425 in the US and Canada named to the most recent Honor Roll for increasing access to AP classes and for increasing the percentage of students who score a 3 or higher on the exams.


A land donation is moving plans forward for a new baseball park and multi-sport complex at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. UALR announced on Wednesday that the Coleman family, of Coleman Dairy renown, donated eight-acres after talking with the school’s baseball coach. Little Rock Athletic Director Chasse Conque told KUAR it sets in motion plans that otherwise were off the table.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Causes and possible solutions for academic distress in Arkansas’s public schools sharply divided lawmakers at an education caucus at the Capitol Monday. 

Democratic Representative John Walker said he believes the state's "distress" category is a pretense to re-segregate majority black schools.

“Every one of them has huge fiscal issues, and one way you avoid addressing the fiscal issues is by taking the school over, " he said.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Walton Family Foundation says it will be reviewing funding request from charter schools in Arkansas following the announcement of a billion dollar gift to be spent in about 22 states over five years.

Marc Sternberg, head of education policy at the foundation, said the strength of school leadership will weigh heavily in picking schools to fund in 2016.

"We'll be overwhelming focused on growing the charter sector," he said, "because that's where the opportunity is to increase high-quality, autonomous schools of choice."