Arkansas school districts

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
K-12 Education in Arkansas
Flag of Arkansas.png
Education facts
State Superintendent: Tom W. Kimbrell
Number of students: 483,114[1]
Number of teachers: 33,983
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14.2
Number of school districts: 289
Number of schools: 1,108
Graduation rate: 84%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,353[3]
See also
Arkansas Department of EducationList of school districts in ArkansasArkansasSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Arkansas
Glossary of education terms

Arkansas is home to 1,108 schools and 483,114 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Brenda Gullett, Chairman
    • Samuel Ledbetter, Vice Chairman
    • Joe Black
    • Alice Williams Mahony
    • Toyce Newton
    • Mireya Reith
    • Vicki Saviers
    • Jay Barth
    • Diane Zook


The following tables display the state's top nine school districts by total student enrollment and the top 10 school districts by per-pupil spending.

Student enrollment, 2011-2012
1.) Little Rock School District
2.) Springdale Public Schools
3.) Pulaski County Special School District
4.) Rogers School District
5.) Fort Smith Public Schools
6.) Bentonville School District
7.) Cabot Public School District
8.) Conway Public Schools
9.) North Little Rock School District

Per-pupil funding, 2011-2012[5]
1.) Witts Springs School District 1
2.) Arkansas City School District
3.) Umpire School District
4.) Kipp: Delta College Prep
5.) Augusta School District
6.) Newark School District
7.) Rison School District
8.) Imboden Charter School District
9.) Alread School District
10.) Perry Casa School District 2


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Arkansas as reported in the Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[6]

Demographic information for Arkansas's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 3,244 0.67% 1.10%
Asian 6,941 1.44% 4.68%
African American 102,438 21.20% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 2,346 0.49% 0.42%
Hispanic 49,504 10.25% 24.37%
White 310,896 64.35% 51.21%
Two or more 7,745 1.60% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Access to high speed internet

Education officials in Arkansas have asked lawmakers to allow public schools access to the state-owned internet network Arkansas Research Education Optical Network (ARE-ON). The law currently allows only state universities and select hospitals to access the network. Out of the 42 states that have state-owned internet networks, Arkansas is the only one that does not give access to public schools. According to a committee formed by the Arkansas Department of Education, ARE-ON could easily accommodate all of Arkansas's schools.[7]

Opponents of allowing public schools access to the network said it would create unfair competition for private companies. Advocates said access to the network would drive down costs and benefit schools. If access to ARE-ON is allowed, school districts would have to pay for the service.[7]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Arkansas State Board of Education adopted the standards on July 12, 2010. Full implementation was set to be achieved in the 2013-2014 academic year.[8][9]

School board composition

School board members in Arkansas serve terms between three and five years in length. Within a school board, all members have the same term length. The expiration of terms for a specific board must be staggered so that as near as possible to an equal number of members are up for election each election year.[10] If a school board has a vacancy, it must be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the school board.[11] School boards have the authority to choose if they would like to be elected at-large, by zone or a combination of the two. To change their current structure, they must adopt a majority resolution describing the procedure of the switch for the next four years.[12] School boards can have five, seven or nine members, depending on the population of the school district.[13]

District types

Arkansas has only one type of school district. A state act in 1947 reorganized all school districts in the state to have the same structure. Thus, all Arkansas school districts are governed by a board of directors, and each district may levy taxes and issue bonds.[14]

Term limits

The state does not impose term limits on school board members.[15]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Arkansas school board elections, 2015

A total of seven Arkansas school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections for 14 seats on September 15, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about Arkansas's school board elections in 2015:

The districts listed below served 108,286 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Arkansas School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Bentonville School District 9/15/2015 1 7 14,123
Cabot Public School District 9/15/2015 1 7 10,373
Conway Public Schools 9/15/2015 2 7 9,646
Fort Smith Public Schools 9/15/2015 3 7 14,146
Little Rock School District 9/15/2015 3 7 25,537
Rogers School District 9/15/2015 2 7 14,485
Springdale Public Schools 9/15/2015 2 7 19,976

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Arkansas, an individual must:[16]

  • Be a registered voter and resident in the school district he or she wishes to represent, as well as within the electoral zone in which he or she will be elected, if candidates are elected by zone.
  • Be an Arkansas resident and U.S. citizen.
  • Not be employed by the school district to be served.
  • Not be judged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • Never have been convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or any other related crime.

Candidates must file with and be certified by the county clerk of the county in which the school district resides.[16]

Campaign finance

School board candidates are required to file the following campaign finance reports with their county elections department:[17]

  • A pre-election report no later than seven days prior to any election in which the candidate's name will appear on the ballot.
  • A final report no later than 30 days after any election in which the candidate's name appeared on the ballot.
  • Supplemental reports for all contributions received and expenditures made after the final report, within 30 days after the receipt of the contribution or the making of an expenditure.

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 14, 2013
  5. Homesurfer, "School District Ranking Report," accessed July 8, 2014
  6. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 UALR Public Radio, "Arkansas Public Schools and Access to High-Speed Internet," June 9, 2014
  8. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed June 12, 2014
  9. Arkansas Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 13, 2014
  10. Arkansas Code, "Title 6, Chapter 13, Section 608," accessed July 8, 2014
  11. Arkansas Code, "Title 6, Chapter 13, Section 611," accessed July 8, 2014
  12. Arkansas Code, "Title 6, Chapter 13, Section 630," accessed July 8, 2014
  13. Arkansas Code, "Title 6, Chapter 13, Section 634," accessed July 8, 2014
  14. United States Census Bureau, "Arkansas," accessed July 8, 2014
  15. National Association of Counties, "History of County Term Limits," accessed July 8, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Arkansas School Board Association, "Board Candidates," accessed July 8, 2014
  17. Arkansas Secretary of State, "Rules on Campaign Finance and Disclosure," accessed July 8, 2014