Arkansas Education

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Microsoft Vice President of Governmental Affairs Fred Humphries sign a memorandum of understanding (left to right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state of Arkansas and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to further the instruction of computer science in schools. Under the agreement Microsoft, with no cost to the state, would help with professional development for computer science teachers in addition to hosting a range of workshops and events for students.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says students hoping to learn a high-demand trade at a community or technical college can be offered full tuition and fee coverage from the state under a new proposal.

Hutchinson announced his intent to create the Arkansas Future, or ArFuture, grant at a press conference on various education-related proposals Thursday.

State Sen. Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale).
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State Senator Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale) filed a bill today to give additional scholarship support to college juniors and seniors who agree to teach for five consecutive years in a "high needs subject area." Clark is on the eight member Senate Education Committee.

Davida Walls never thought she would be teaching high school biology, let alone in the first few months after graduating from college at 22.

“Teaching was not my initial goal. It was kind of an opportunity that just, you know, became available so I took it.”

She is trying to decide whether to become a doctor or a nurse, and plans to apply for a program to train for one or the other this year.

A Conway elementary school librarian is a recipient of the 2016 “I Love My Librarian” Award. The American Library Association says Jamille Rogers of Marguerite Vann Elementary School in Conway is one of ten national winners of the annual public service award.

Michael Poore Little Rock Superintendent
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

The Little Rock School District is continuing to host community meetings regarding possible school closures, but critics are concerned the decisions have already been made.

Five schools in LRSD are being considered for closure in a proposal by superintendent Michael Poore. Three community meetings to gather public feedback on the proposal were hosted before Thanksgiving, and four more are on the schedule before the district closes for the winter holiday.

Human Rights Watch

Arkansas leaders are either rejecting, or staying out of it, when it comes to the call of U.S. Education Secretary John King to end corporal punishment in schools. On Monday, King said corporal punishment amounts to assaulting a child, noting it’s illegal to do to adults in prisons or elsewhere. He also cited federal statistics showing it’s disproportionately applied to minorities and children with disabilities.

Six days after six members of the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team knelt in protest during the national anthem, college officials on Wednesday announced “Project Unify,” a “community engagement program” designed to address concerns that fueled the protest.

The move, which will see the players no longer kneel during the anthem, could also quell backlash against the team and the university that included one Arkansas senator threatening to put a hold on the university’s budget.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Pulaski County Special School District signed a memorandum of understanding Friday to offer the district’s high school students college credit classes. UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson and PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess signed the agreement.

Little Rock School District

Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore on Thursday outlined initial plans for at least an additional 10 million dollars in budget cuts in the next fiscal year with loss of 37 million dollars in state desegregation aid.