Special Session Starts Today

I’ve written briefly about the problems with teacher health insurance in Arkansas in the past here, here, and here. Last fall, Governor Beebe called a special session in order to find a solution to the projected 50% increase in premiums for teachers that was slated to begin this past January. A short-term solution was implemented, …

An Overview of the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act

This time each year, I often get questions from readers and clients regarding the requirements of the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (TFDA). As teachers, many of my readers and clients want to know exactly how the TFDA protects them, so I’ve decided to do a brief overview of what the TFDA requires and a summary …

Corporal Punishment Upheld Once Again

I often get questions from parents regarding the current state of corporal punishment, both in Arkansas and across the country. Corporal punishment in public schools, as antiquated as it may seem to some, is still alive and well in 19 states, with Arkansas being one of them. Though many education and child advocacy groups continue …

California Tenure Law Challenged

A hotly contested lawsuit in California could pave the way for teacher tenure law reform across the country. The education advocacy group, Students Matter, filed suit in 2012 against the State of California on behalf of nine California public school students seeking to strike down five state teacher tenure statutes. The plaintiffs, in Vergara v. …

Kansas Supreme Court Finds Education Funding Unconstitutional

Last year, I wrote here about the ongoing education funding woes for Kansas public schools.  Last year, a three-judge district court panel ruled that public school funding in Kansas was inadequate and inequitable. Earlier this week, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an opinion in Gannon v. State of Kansas affirming the lower court’s ruling that wealth-based disparities in …

2014 Fiscal Session Starts Today

When the voters of Arkansas approved Amendment 86 to the Arkansas Constitution in 2008, I dare say that most of them didn’t know what they were really getting themselves into. That amendment, of course, requires appropriations to be passed annually rather than every two years, resulting in the requirement that the General Assembly meet in …

Pulaski County Desegregation Settlement Approved

Last fall, I wrote here that the Pulaski County school desegregation case was close to a potential settlement. That settlement received final approval from Judge Price Marshall earlier this week, thus ending decades of desegregation litigation between the State and the three Pulaski County school districts. The State will continue to pay the nearly $70 million …