Arkansas Education

Higher Education Funding
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a bill that links college and university funding to factors such as the number of students who complete their degrees.

Hutchinson on Wednesday signed the bill that requires the state to adopt a "performance-based" model for funding higher education rather than basing the money on enrollment.

Hutchinson has said he'll call for increasing higher education funding by $10 million in 2018 if the plan was approved.

Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Maria Markham at a committee hearing. File photo 2017.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers have given their final approval and sent to the governor to a plan to link college and university funding to factors such as the number of students who complete their degrees.

The Senate on Monday voted 32-1 for a bill requiring the state to adopt a "performance-based" model for funding higher education rather than basing the money on enrollment. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he'd call for increasing higher education funding $10 million in 2018 if lawmakers approve the plan.

The president of the University of Arkansas System, Donald Bobbitt, says he is working with schools to gather information on the effect of President Trump's order on immigration.

Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Maria Markham at a committee hearing. File photo 2017.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A bill to restructure how Arkansas’s higher education funding is determined is advancing to the state Senate. The switch from enrollment-based funding to productivity-based funding comes at the direction of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office. State Representative Mark Lowery, a Republican from Maumelle, carried the bill on the House floor Monday.

Little Rock School District buses
Wikipedia

The Arkansas Department of Education is recommending two Little Rock School District campuses be removed from the academic distress category. The LRSD schools are among a list of ten released by the department on Monday. The entire district in Blytheville is also recommended to be cleared of the designation. 

The State Board of Education will ultimately decide on the recommendations at a meeting February 9.

Governor Asa Hutchinson radio address
Office of the Governor

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is concerned about how President Donald Trump’s trade protectionist talk could affect Arkansas’ economy. He also opposes a bill creating education savings accounts from tax-deductible donations because a fiscal impact statement shows it would cost the state budget $10 million in its first year.

During a Thursday (Jan. 26) press availability in his office, Hutchinson was asked about the impact of President Trump’s presidency on global trade following the announcement that Mexico’s president has cancelled a meeting between the two world leaders.

Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Maria Markham at a committee hearing. File photo 2017.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Legislation that would change how Arkansas public colleges and universities are funded was approved Tuesday by the House Education Committee. It now heads to the full House for consideration.

The "outcomes-based" funding model would incorporate factors like the number of students completing degrees, how long it takes to do, and how many graduate and then get jobs in their degree field or complete another degree. State Higher Education Director Maria Markham says it would be more effective than the current model, which is based on enrollment.

www.psychologicalscience.org

The chancellor of the University of Arkansas flagship campus in Fayetteville is opposing a bill that would require public universities to allow staff members to carry concealed handguns.

Now, colleges and universities in Arkansas can choose whether to allow staff members with concealed-carry permits to carry the weapons on campus, but all of the state's public universities have opted not to.

A bill filed Monday by Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville would eliminate the ability for public universities to opt out in most cases. Collins has said the measure is aimed at preventing mass shootings.

Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz said in a statement Tuesday that UA agrees with the current law that allows schools to opt out. He says university police do not believe that Collins' measure would make campus safer.

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore (file photo).
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The tumult in the Little Rock School District, which is under state control, continues in the new year with plans to close or re-purpose four schools. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with Superintendent Mike Poore about the future of the district and the legitimacy of state control.

Topics also include: a special election to continue a tax, the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, the impact to charter schools in the district, and the return of local control.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's new, abbreviated name and logo.
UA Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is changing its abbreviated name from UALR to UA Little Rock and adopting new corresponding logos.

In an e-mail to employees today, Chancellor Andrew Rogerson gave several reasons for his desire to rebrand:

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