University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Show Me the Money: Adequacy Funding – AR School Facilities

In The View from the OEP on November 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

Here at the OEP, we are fortunate to have a seasoned scholar who has spent his academic career working in various areas of education: as a public school teacher in the K-12 arena, with the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, to his appointment as Dean of the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. In his various roles as an Arkansas educator, Reed Greenwood has experienced many of the state’s recent reforms to its education system firsthand. Therefore, his recent writings on the history of Arkansas school funding have been a welcome addition to the OEP publications list.

You may recall that we recently posted Dean Greenwood’s comprehensive report on the reform of Arkansas school funding resulting from the Lake View court case that challenged the state for not providing its schools with adequate and equitable funding for public education (you can read more about Lake View and Dean Greenwood’s funding report in this previous blog post). Today we are releasing the second of two Greenwood-penned school funding reports; with this most recent report focusing on adequacy funding for school facilities.

As is to be expected with any discussion of school funding, the Lake View case is a catalyst for change in how and how much money is allocated to schools and districts. This report highlights the steps put in place by the Arkansas General Assembly which provided significant new systems and financial support for public school renovation and new construction. For example: Funding mechanisms were overhauled and a major effort was conducted to improve the educational facilities across the state.

  • The General Assembly authorized a resulting in a comprehensive report published in 2004. This report served the state as a baseline to measure facility improvements.
  • Then the state authorized many of the actions recommended in the 2004 comprehensive study of the condition of public school facilities report including:
    • The development of immediate and transitional funding programs to address some of the more critical problems in school facilities.
    • A master planning program requiring each school district to submit comprehensive plans and reports covering new facilities, renovations, and maintenance.
  • Future reports were commissioned and released in 2005 and 2007 with additional suggestions for action by the General Assembly.

You can read more about Arkansas school facilities funding in the full report!!

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