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Article 14, Arkansas Constitution
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| Text of Section 1:
Free School System
Intelligence and virtue being the safeguards of liberty and the bulwark of a free and good government, the State shall ever maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of free public schools and shall adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education. The specific intention of this amendment is to authorize that in addition to existing constitutional or statutory provisions the General Assembly and/or public school districts may spend public funds for the education of persons over twenty-one (21) years of age and under six (6) years of age, as may be provided by law, and no other interpretation shall be given to it.
| Text of Section 2:
School Fund - Use - Purposes
No money or property belonging to the public school fund, or to this State, for the benefit of schools or universities, shall ever be used for any other than for the respective purposes to which it belongs.
| Text of Section 3:
School Tax - Budget - Approval of Tax Rate
(a) The General Assembly shall provide for the support of common schools by general law. In order to provide quality education, it is the goal of this state to provide a fair system for the distribution of funds. It is recognized that, in providing such a system, some funding variations may be necessary. The primary reason for allowing such variations is to allow school districts, to the extent permissible, to raise additional funds to enhance the educational system within the school district. It is further recognized that funding variations or restrictions thereon may be necessary in order to comply with, or due to, other provisions of this Constitution, the United States Constitution, state or federal laws, or court orders. (b)(1) There is established a uniform rate of ad valorem property tax of twenty-five (25) mills to be levied on the assessed value of all taxable real, personal, and utility property in the state to be used solely for maintenance and operation of the schools. (2) Except as provided in this subsection the uniform rate of tax shall not be an additional levy for maintenance and operation of the schools but shall replace a portion of the existing rate of tax levied by each school district available for maintenance and operation of schools in the school district. The rate of tax available for maintenance and operation levied by each school district on the effective date of this amendment shall be reduced to reflect the levy of the uniform rate of tax. If the rate of tax available for maintenance and operation levied by a school district on the effective date of this amendment exceeds the uniform rate of tax, the excess rate of tax shall continue to be levied by the school district until changed as provided in subsection (c)(1). If the rate of tax available for maintenance and operation levied by a school district on the effective date of this amendment is less than the uniform rate of tax, the uniform rate of tax shall nevertheless be levied in the district. (3) The uniform rate of tax shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as other school property taxes, but the net revenues from the uniform rate of tax shall be remitted to the State Treasurer and distributed by the state to the school districts as provided by law. No portion of the revenues from the uniform rate of tax shall be retained by the state. The revenues so distributed shall be used by the school districts solely for maintenance and operation of schools. (4) The General Assembly may by law propose an increase or decrease in the uniform rate of tax and submit the question to the electors of the state at the next general election. If a majority of the electors of the state voting on the issue vote For the proposed increase or decrease in the uniform rate of tax, the uniform rate of tax shall be increased or decreased as approved. If a majority of the electors of the state voting on the issue vote Against the proposed increase or decrease in the uniform rate of tax, the uniform rate of tax shall continue to be levied at the rate for the year in which the election is held. (c)(1) In addition to the uniform rate of tax provided in subsection (b), school districts are authorized to levy, by a vote of the qualified electors respectively thereof, an annual ad valorem property tax on the assessed value of taxable real, personal, and utility property for the maintenance and operation of schools and the retirement of indebtedness. The Board of Directors of each school district shall prepare, approve and make public not less than sixty (60) days in advance of the annual school election a proposed budget of expenditures deemed necessary to provide for the foregoing purposes, together with a rate of tax levy sufficient to provide the funds therefore, including the rate under any continuing levy for the retirement of indebtedness. The Board of Directors shall submit the tax at the annual school election or at such other time as may be provided by law. If a majority of the qualified voters in the school district voting in the school election approve the rate of tax proposed by the Board of Directors, then the tax at the rate approved shall be collected as provided by law. In the event a majority of the qualified electors voting in the school election disapprove the proposed rate of tax, then the tax shall be collected at the rate approved in the last preceding school election. However, if the rate last approved has been modified pursuant to subsection (b) or (c)(2) of this section, then the tax shall be collected at the modified rate until another rate is approved. (2) The tax levied by a school district pursuant to subsection (c)(1) of this section may be reduced pursuant to procedures provided by law if the tax would cause the state or district to be out of compliance with any other provision of this Constitution, the United States Constitution, state or federal law, or court order. (3) No tax levied pursuant to subsection (c)(1) of this section shall be appropriated to any other district than that for which it is levied. (d) For the purposes of this section, "maintenance and operation" means such expenses for the general maintenance and operation of schools as may be defined by law.
- Constitutional Amendment 11, which was approved on October 5, 1926.
- Constitutional Amendment 40, which was approved on March 28, 1947.
- Amendment 74, which was approved via voter approval on November 5, 1996.
| Text of Section 4:
Supervision of Schools
The supervision of public schools, and the execution of the laws regulating the same, shall be vested in and confided to, such officers as may be provided for by the General Assembly.
- Full text of Arkansas Constitution (See PDF page 68)
State of Arkansas
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