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Published in Print: December 3, 2003, as Itemizing Adequacy

Itemizing Adequacy

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Arkansas needs to spend an additional $848.3 million to provide an adequate education for its K-12 students, according to a study commissioned by the Arkansas Joint Legislative Committee on Education Adequacy. Below is a sampling of the study's recommendations.

Evidence-based policies
(224.6 million)

  • Pupil-teacher ratios of 15-to-1 in grades K-3 and 25-to-1 in all other grades.
  • Extra teachers in schools with high enrollments of impoverished children and English-language learners.

Higher teacher salaries
($356 million)

  • $183 million for a 10 percent teacher- pay raise to make salaries comparable to those of surrounding states.
  • $94 million to provide incentives for teachers to work in troubled schools and in subject areas with shortages of teachers.
  • $45 million for professional development outside the school year.
  • $30 million for teacher performance bonuses.

Preschool education
($100 million)

  • Prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds whose family income is twice the federal poverty level or lower.

Supplements to the current funding formula
($167.7 million)

  • Would pay school districts that are unable to raise enough money to pay for the programs because of caps on property taxes.

SOURCE: "An Evidenced-Based Approach to School Finance Adequacy in Arkansas," prepared by Lawrence O. Picus & Associates

Vol. 23, Issue 14, Page 16

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