Arkansas General Assembly Approves Legislation Focused on Opportunities

Arkansas General Assembly Approves Legislation Focused on Opportunities

March 24, 2015

Arkansas General Assembly Approves Legislation
Focused on Opportunities and Outcomes for Students
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Arkansas General Assembly approved two pieces of legislation that prioritize outcomes and opportunities for Arkansas’ students. Senate Bill 211, sponsored by Senator Alan Clark, will create an Economic Security Report and Senate Bill 342, sponsored by Senator Missy Irvin, will enhance Arkansas’ existing School Recognition and Reward Program.

Excellence in Education National (@Excel_National) Executive Director Patricia Levesque said, “SB 211’s ‘Economic Security Report’ is a simple yet effective tool that provides valuable, real-life information to parents and students to best inform major life decisions about college and careers. I want to thank Senator Clark for his tremendous commitment to maximizing college and career opportunities for Arkansas’ students.”

Levesque also praised the Legislature’s passage of SB 342, stating, “It is important for states to reward the hard work of principals, teachers, students and parents at schools that are making extraordinary progress and exceeding goals. Senator Irvin’s bill will further the state’s commitment to recognizing excellence by ensuring that the state’s existing School Recognition program equally rewards schools for both the highest levels of student performance and also schools that are making the greatest gains.”

Excel National commends Senator Clark, Senator Irvin and the Arkansas General Assembly for their ongoing commitment to student-centered outcomes.  Both bills will now be transmitted to Governor Asa Hutchinson for his approval.

Learn more about SB 211 and SB 342

SB 211, Economic Security Report:

SB 211 would provide students and their parents with the necessary information to make informed decisions about college and career choices, including information about potential future employment and wages, frequently referred to as an “economic security report.”  Details about the bill include:

  • Beginning in the eighth grade and annually thereafter, provides students and parents with information on future compensation based on institution and degree or certificate.
  • Allows students and parents to have the information to make a more informed choice on the benefits of a particular college, degree program or certificate or career pathway.
  • Gives students and parents the oppurtunity reflect on course choices in the middle and high school levels to better prepare for their targeted college or occupation.

Visit Florida’s Beyond Education and Arkansas’ College Measures for examples of career wage websites.
SB 342, School Recognition and Reward Program:

SB 342 would enhance Arkansas’ existing School Recognition and Reward Program in two important ways.  First, the bill would place an equal focus on student growth as it does for student performance.  Second, the bill’s impact would increase the state’s commitment to school rewards from $7 million to approximately $10 million. Details about the bill include;

  • Creates a definition for “annual student academic growth.”
  • Provides tiered rewards of $100 per student for schools in the top five percent and $50 per student for schools in the top six-to-ten percent for academic performance.
  • Provides tiered rewards of $100 per student for schools in the top five percent and $50 per student for schools in the top six-to-ten percent for academic growth.
###