Arkansas Education

Shane Broadway
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Arkansas State University System has named Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway as its vice president for governmental relations. ASU System President Charles Welch made the announcement Wednesday.

Broadway is a former state representative and state senator and served as Speaker of the House. He has served as director of higher education since being appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe in 2011. He is a 1994 graduate of Arkansas State.

Faculty from the University of Arkansas System will meet Wednesday and Thursday to begin curriculum development for eVersity, the state’s online university program. Educators will meet at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain for the planning conference.

Attorneys in a longstanding Arkansas school desegregation case have filed a motion agreeing that special education in the Pulaski County Special School District is "unitary," or substantially desegregated.

The motion was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock by attorneys for the district and others in the case. It asks that a federal judge grant an order that the Pulaski County district is unitary in special education.

Arkansas Advocates For Children And Families Executive Director Rich Huddleston.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

One of Arkansas’s leading advocacy groups for children and low-income people is gearing up for next month’s legislative session. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families on Thursday in Little Rock held the last of three pre-legislative conferences hosted throughout the state. Expanding access to pre-K and reforming the juvenile justice system were among a slew of issues in which AACF's staff and guest speakers briefed attendees.

A former superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District will be the temporary head of a breakaway district.

Voters in Jacksonville this year approved the creation of the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District. The new district's board on Wednesday named Bobby Lester as its interim superintendent.

Lester was the superintendent of the Pulaski County district for 15 years. School Board President danie Gray says Lester has long supported separating schools in the far northeast part of Pulaski County.

pre-school education

Federal education officials say Arkansas has been awarded a nearly $15 million grant from the Preschool Development Grants program.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the $14.9 million grant. Arkansas is one of 18 states awarded grants.

States receiving grants are to develop or expand high-quality preschool programs in regionally diverse communities-from urban neighborhoods to small towns.

A new report indicates that the number of school-based arrests in Arkansas has increased 13 percent since 2011.

The report by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families looked at school-based arrests across the state in 2013 and 2014. There are more than 3,000 law enforcement incidents in Arkansas schools each year, and the majority of children involved are arrested for nonviolent offenses.

J.R. Carroll at the Clinton School of Public Service.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

J.R. Carroll, one of two agents in Arkansas representing NFL players, said Monday the prospect of college athletes receiving better compensation has never been better. Speaking at the Clinton School of Public Service Carroll, also a professor in sports law at the University of Arkansas, said after a whirlwind year of court rulings the path has been laid for stipends for student-athletes but not professional-level salaries.

Ouida Newton, a math teacher at Poyen High School, has been named the 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

The announcement was made Friday during a surprise notification event in Poyen in Grant County.

Newton currently teaches math for grades seven through 12 at the high school. During her 34-year career, she has taught math, Algebra I and II, sixth-grade science, pre-algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry, transition to college math and physics.

Donnie Whitten Arkadelphia school superintendent

An Arkadelphia Public Schools leader has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in a White House conference on digital learning.

Donnie Whitten will be in Washington, D.C. for Wednesday's "ConnectED to the Future," summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

The event brings together superintendents and other educators from across the country who are leading their schools and districts in the transition to digital learning.