Arkansas, like the rest of America, is dealing with tightening drawstrings, and the first place it seems like they’re trying to save money on is in education, much to the Education chief’s chagrin.
Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell has protested the proposed spending cuts on the public education system by stating that it would be a “step back from Arkansas’ commitment to students”. He made the statement today before the legislative Joint Budget Committee.
Although Gov. Mike Beebe proposed an increase of $56.6 million for public school funding the next fiscal year, it appears that public schools have still been negatively affected by restrictive budgeting. In 2010, nearly $80 million was cut from the budget for public schools. That was a huge drawback for education in the State. However, it looks like funding has increased in an effort to foster the competitiveness of young people in Arkansas in the global marketplace.
Just recently, Education Week magazine released the statistics of their annual Quality Counts report, giving Arkansas a low mark in “Student achievement” and “the chance for a successful career with an Arkansas education”. Ouch. Overall, Arkansas placed 5th in the country.