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Facts at a Glance

Use the Education Counts Database to find more detailed state information, ranks, comparisons across states, national statistics and more.
Governor:Asa Hutchinson
Commissioner of Education:Johnny Key
Quality Counts state grade:C-
Pre-K-12 enrollment:490,917
Number of school districts:290
Number of public schools:1,122
Number of public school teachers:35,430
Unadjusted education spending per student:$9,616
Percent minority students:37.6%
Percent of students eligible for free/reduced price lunch:62.3%
Percent of students with disabilities:13.6%
Percent of English-language learners:7.7%
NAEP Mathematics 2015 percent proficient
4th grade math:32.7%
8th grade math:25.5%
NAEP Reading 2015 percent proficient
4th grade reading:31.3%
8th grade reading:28.7%

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Democrats shifted the balance of power throughout the states yesterday by taking at least five governors’ seats from Republicans and retaking control of legislative chambers in seven statehouses, setting the stage for Democrat-leaning education agendas that are likely to focus on boosting public school funding, expanding early-childhood-education programs, and making college tuition more affordable.
November 8, 2006 | Updated: February 22, 2019 – Education Week (Web)
The Arkansas Department of Education has a message for parents across the state: Students need to take tougher classes.
October 11, 2006 – Education Week
When school library books are questioned, contention usually results. Here’s how one district in Fayetteville, Ark., wrote a new chapter in handling parents’ complaints.
September 27, 2006 – Education Week
Black legislators and school leaders in Arkansas are protesting the loss of dozens of African-American school board members, superintendents, and principals, nearly two years after the legislature voted to force dozens of the state’s smallest school districts to merge with neighboring districts.
January 4, 2006 – Education Week
Many state budgets are reaping the benefits of tax revenues that are rising faster than at any time since the economic slowdown ended.
July 13, 2005 – Education Week
Experts warned Southern education leaders meeting here that falling graduation rates may threaten the region’s progress in improving students’ test scores, access to preschool, and other advances in recent years in the poorest region of the United States.
June 29, 2005 | Updated: June 28, 2018 – Education Week (Web)
Arkansas must spend nearly $2.3 billion to improve school buildings, a study issued last week says, setting up a legislative battle that could determine how schools and school districts are configured in the state for years to come.
December 8, 2004 – Education Week
With their single-district days behind them, leaders of the new merged Two Rivers school district in rural Arkansas are looking for ways to make the relationship work.
November 24, 2004 – Education Week
Voters showed caution about sending more money to public schools or dramatically changing course on education policy, as they decided school-related questions on state ballots last week.
November 10, 2004 – Education Week
A groundbreaking statewide study released last week evaluating the body weights of nearly all public school students in Arkansas has found that 38 percent of them are overweight or are at risk of becoming overweight.
September 15, 2004 – Education Week

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