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.
- 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
- $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.
- 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
- 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