Published Online: May 12, 2009
Published in Print: May 13, 2009, as Arkansas Funding Increases for K-12

Capitol Recap

Arkansas Funding Increases for K-12

| ARKANSAS | Despite a cloudy fiscal forecast, Arkansas lawmakers approved a slight boost in spending on education for fiscal 2010 during their recently concluded legislative session.

K-12 programs will receive about $2 billion next fiscal year, without taking into account some federal and other funding. For fiscal 2009, those programs got about $1.9 billion. That’s compared to a fiscal 2010 of about $4.4 billion.

Gov. Jim Douglas
Gov. Mike Beebe Democrat
Senate:
27 Democrats
8 Republicans
House:
72 Democrats
28 Republicans
Enrollment:
465,500

Gov. Mike Beebe said that even a slight increase in education spending is something to cheer about, especially since so many other states have had to cut money for K-12 programs in the current tough economic climate.

“Arkansas’ conservative approach and strong fiscal stewardship means that our students will continue to make progress,” Mr. Beebe said last month.

Arkansas was able to get some small initiatives off the ground, said Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the governor. For instance, the legislature approved a bill that would provide about $3 million in incentives for districts to adopt Smart Core, a college-preparatory curriculum.

The state also is planning to finance some pilot programs aimed at improving after-school and summer programs, Mr. DeCample said. The budget for that effort is still being worked out.

Vol. 28, Issue 31, Page 22

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