Arkansas Education

U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Rep. Bruce Westerman have announced a $3.2 million grant to an early childhood education program in south Arkansas.

The grant announced Monday by the three Republicans goes to Families and Children Together, Inc. to provide early childhood and preschool services to children and families in Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union Counties.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Talk Business & Politics

Newly installed state Education Commissioner Johnny Key laid out his philosophy for public education in Arkansas, stating he was a strong supporter of Common Core and wants to find ways to empower teachers and strengthen leadership in order to improve schools.

“My philosophy is that teachers know best and we need to build from the ground up,” said Key, a former Mountain Home state Senator tapped by Gov. Asa Hutchinson last month to lead the state’s education department.

Charnella King a parent of students in the to-be consolidated Hughes School District.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Hughes School District tried unsuccessfully on Thursday to become the first in the state to try to save itself from consolidation by utilizing a newly enacted law. After denying a waiver request the Arkansas Board of Education voted 7-1 to consolidate the schools into the West Memphis School District effective July 1st.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing regarding the creation of a new school district in Jacksonville.

U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall has scheduled the hearing for April 17 at 10 a.m. Voters in November approved creation of the new district and separating from the Pulaski County Special School District.

The Pine Bluff School Board has voted to fire the district's superintendent at a special meeting this week.

The board voted 6-0 Wednesday night to dismiss Superintendent Linda Watson, after suspending her for 30 days at a March 16 special meeting.

Watson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that she learned about the board's decision from a staff member. She said she couldn't comment further until she spoke with her attorney, adding that she was unaware the board had met.

Gov. Hutchinson Envisions 20% Of Arkansas Students Taking Computer Classes

Apr 8, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a group of startup executives and entrepreneurs visiting Little Rock that one of his educational visions is for 20% of Arkansas students to eventually take computer coding classes while in high school.

Lawyers for the Pulaski County Special School District asked a federal judge to approve details of a plan for the creation of a Jacksonville school district.

They offered a plan for dividing state desegregation funding between the districts in the motion filed Friday in federal court. It includes paying Jacksonville a percentage of settlement money awarded to the Pulaski district under the 34-year-old desegregation case.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the new district in November and the judge in January asked for more details on the detachment plan.

The College of Business at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville has had its accreditation extended for five years.

ATU announced Friday that the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business extended the accreditation that was first granted in 2000. The next scheduled review is during the 2019-20 academic year.

The college offers Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees in accounting, business data analytics, economics, marketing, business education, and finance and management. It also offers a Master of Science degree in Business Administration.

Key Hired As Education Commissioner, Starts 'Right Now'

Mar 25, 2015
Johnny Key Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The State Board of Education unanimously approved former state Sen. Johnny Key to be the state’s new education commissioner Wednesday.

The state’s top education commissioner serves at the pleasure of the governor but is hired by the State Board. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in a press conference March 2 that Key was his preferred choice for that position.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has issued a stay immediately halting an injunction hearing to stop state control of the Little Rock School District.

The state had requested a stay while they appealed a lawsuit that challenged its takeover of the district. Arkansas argued that such a complaint cannot be filed against a state agency. The court was informed of the stay while Little Rock Superintended Dexter Suggs was testifying.