Arkansas

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Did not find

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Yes-

"The department, the State Board of Education, or a combination of the department and state board may grant no more than a total of 24 charters for open-enrollment public charter schools."

However, "if the cap on the number of charters available for an open-enrollment public charter school is within 2 charters of meeting any existing limitation or cap on available open-enrollment charters, the number of available charters shall automatically increase by 5 slots more than the most recent existing limitation or cap on open-enrollment charters."

6-23-304.(c)(1)(A-B)

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Did not find-

We did not find information about charter school transportation requirements in Arkansas statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Arkansas does not specify who must provide transportation to charter school students.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Yes-

Public charters can employ a non-licensed classroom teacher with a waiver of teacher licensure requirements granted by the state board in the charter

6-17-2803(16)(A)(ii)(e)(B)(i)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Unclear-

Unclear whether Arkansas offers full-time digital learning.

Act 1280 of 2013 allowed for the expansion of digital learning opportunities to all Arkansas public school students. "Digital learning" means a digital technology or internet-based educational delivery model that does not rely exclusively on compressed interactive video.

The state board shall not limit the number of digital learning courses for which a student may receive credit through a public school or a public charter school and shall ensure that digital learning courses may be used as both primary and secondary methods of instruction.

6-16-1402. Legislative intent
6-16-1403(a)(1). Digital learning
6-16-1406.(e) Digital learning courses

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

No-

"A qualified teacher who delivers digital learning courses under this subchapter is not required to be licensed as a teacher or administrator by the state board, but shall meet the minimum qualifications for teaching in a core content area established by rules of the state board."

6-16-1405.(B) Digital learning providers.

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes-

Arkansas statutes allow for the Succeed Scholarship Program.

6-41-901(b)

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Did not find-

Did not find discussion of religious schools; however, see 6-41-903(b) for school eligibility.

6-41-903(b)

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Yes-

The Department of Education shall approve a maximum of twenty (20) scholarships under this subchapter per academic year for students in foster care.

6-41-902

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Yes-

"An eligible private school shall administer annually or make provisions for a student participating in the scholarship program to take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test as established by the State Board of Education." However, if a student's IEP exempts the student from standardized exams, the school is not required to administer or make provisions for these exams.

6-41-903 (d)(1)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Did not find

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes-

"A public school choice program is hereby established to enable any student to transfer from a public school or school district classified by the state board as a public school or school district in academic distress to another public school or school district in the state that is not in academic distress, subject to the restrictions contained in this section."

6-18-227(a)(4)

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Unclear-

(A) "The receiving public school or school district may transport students to and from the transferring public school or school district, and the cost of transporting students shall be the responsibility of the transferring public school or school district except as provided under subdivisions (c)(1)(B) and (c)(2) of this section."

(B) "A transferring public school or school district shall not be required to spend more than four hundred dollars ($400) per student per school year for transportation required under subdivision (c)(1)(A) of this section."

6-18-227(c)(1)(A-B)

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.