Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Report: Money for poor students not targeted to them

Posted By on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 6:46 AM

Stephens Media managed amid a busy day at the Capitol to sit in on a legislative committee that heard a report on how the state's school districts spend almost $200 million in annual state aid that is provided based on the number of poor children in a school district.

Bottom line: About half the money isn't directed specifically at poor children, but spent for general school district expenses for all children, the biggest being teacher pay. Only 11 percent is being spent on tutoring or specific student-directed programs. The school spending law is flexible enough to allow this, Education Director Tom Kimbrell noted. This money has long been a sore spot with many legislators, particularly from districts with smaller numbers of disadvantaged kids.

Arkansas Advocates for Children is among those who think the money should be targeted at improving achievement among poor kids. (Also, too, the school reformers up at UA.) Failure to do this inevitably will put this categorical funding at risk. I do think there are likely some special cases — districts with large percentages of impoverished kids, 70 percent and more. In some particularly poor districts, I think you could argue that better pay to attract better teachers might amount to a categorical benefit.

The spending is known as National School Lunch spending because it's based on the number of kids who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches under the federally financed nutrition program.

Tags: , ,

Speaking of...


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Governor candidates talk about hog farms in Northwest Arkansas

    Hog farming and the private option were among the points of disagreement in a joint appearance today by gubernatorial candidates Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson.
    • Jul 22, 2014
  • Conflicting opinons on Affordable Care Act

    A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel has ruled 2-1 that participants in federally operated health insurance exchanges in 34 states cannot qualify for federal subsidies. These are the states, including Arkansas, that didn't set up their own health insurance marketplaces and left it to the government. It will be a while before the ruling has an impact, if ever.
    • Jul 22, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  



© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation