We’re sad to note that the state’s lawmakers have gone back on their word about raising per-student funding for our state’s schools. About $69 million would have been designated to increase the state’s per-student funding by 2.5 percent in 2011, and 2.9 percent in 2012, but both proposals were withdrawn after lawmakers and Gov. Mike Beebe decided they needed more time to study the measures. The state currently spends $6,023 per student.
While we agree that Arkansas, like every other state in the nation (although not quite as much as others!), is in an economic crunch and must thus tighten its belt, we tend to think increasing funding for our state’s public schools is a grand idea . . . and one that we favor.
It was only a week or two ago that economic leaders from across the state met by teleconference to discuss the importance of education, particularly in math and science, to Arkansas’ economic development. How nice it would’ve been to see that importance underlined with a higher investment in our public school students. Oh well, maybe next year . . .