Smart talk, April 16 

Little red schoolhouse


Of the 13,163 local school districts in the United States in the 2006-07 school year, 5,771 enrolled fewer than 1,000 students. Of those, 764 districts enrolled fewer than 100 students. The statistics are from the Rural School and Community Trust, an advocacy group. The Arkansas Times obtained comparable statistics for Arkansas schools from the state Education Department. It should be no surprise that Arkansas, a rural state, has a higher percentage of small schools than does the nation as a whole. In the current school year, Arkansas has 266 school districts; a little more than half of those, 143, have enrollments of less than 1,000. Although Arkansas law sets a minimum enrollment of 350, a few schools have less than that legally. These include the state schools for the blind and the deaf, and charter schools exempt from certain requirements.


Best of the blogs


If we don't toot our own horn, who will?

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, who writes The Fix, a political blog, sought nominations from readers on the best political blogs in the 50 states. He posted the results last week and it will remain on-line as a source for political junkies.

Three political blogs in Arkansas made the list: The Arkansas Blog (that's our blog, which you find right at the top of our home page every day, arktimes.com); the Arkansas Project, the work of former Asa Hutchinson campaigner and consultant David Kinkade, and Blake's Think Tank, by PR man Blake Rutherford. The last two are at thearkansasproject.com and blakesthinktank.com.


Instant replay


Could the University of Central Arkansas's financial and other problems force a re-examination of UCA's move upward in college athletics? Well … Jack Gillean, vice president of administrative affairs and a member of the committee seeking a new president at UCA, told the Conway Log Cabin Democrat that the committee would ask presidential candidates about a number of issues, including “a move to Division I athletics.” But it was a couple of years ago, during the Lu Hardin administration, that UCA moved up from Division II, away from its old in-state rivals (Tech, SAU, HSU, UAM, Ouachita, Harding). Asked to elaborate, Gillean told the Times, “There has been a great deal of concern about the cost of moving to Division I. I do not mean to suggest that the matter will be reconsidered, but under our current budget constraints, the cost remains an issue. It will be an issue that the next president will have to address.” Much of the concern about the cost of Division I athletics has come from members of the faculty. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported recently that UCA had violated state law by transferring more state funds to athletics than legally allowed during the last two fiscal years.



From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • 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  

Most Viewed

  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation