Almost $7 million is going to 175 of Arkansas' more than 1,000 schools for their best-in-state results on the spring 2018 Act Aspire exams that are given in third through 10th grades.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state Education Commissioner Johnny Key on Monday announced the recipients of the statutorily authorized financial rewards, highlighting the Bismarck School District in particular where all three campuses — elementary, middle and high school — achieved awards.
Campuses that are among the top 5 percent of schools in terms of student achievement and/or the top 5 percent in achievement gains on the state-required tests will receive $99.18 per student. Those schools that are identified as being among the 6 to 10 percent top-achievers or gainers will receive $49.58 per student.
"I am proud of the leadership of the educators," Hutchinson said in the announcement. "I am thankful for the support of the parents and communities, which is vital for this level of success. And I applaud the students who have worked so hard and earned their way into the top 10 percent."
The Arkansas School Recognition Program, established by Arkansas Code Annotated 6-15-2107, provides financial awards to the top 10 percent highest-achieving schools in the state and the top 10 percent of schools in terms of achievement growth on the ACT Aspire tests. The achievement growth category also includes high school graduation rates for high schools.
The money can be used for faculty and staff bonuses, educational equipment and materials, or for employment of people to help with improving or maintaining student achievement. Each school that has been named a reward recipient must form a committee made up of the principal and a faculty-elected teacher representative and parents to select one of the spending options for their school.
Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.