ERIC Number: ED362965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Arkansas: The State of the State.
Schoppmeyer, Martin W.
In a poor state such as Arkansas, progress is often a slow and painful process. Particularly in the area of teacher salaries, school funding plans are often thwarted by budget shortfalls. Court decisions and efforts to stabilize and equalize school funding and local property taxes have led to political battles over taxation. Constitutional Amendment 59 attempted to prevent large tax increases and created three property tax categories: real property, personal property, and carrier and utility. Under the amendment, school income could increase only if real property millage rose as well. When the state's education funding system was declared unconstitutional in 1983, a 1 percent sales tax was levied to supplement education. Next, Act 34 created a new education finance system, but it did not create equitable educational financing. And although Act 34 set new standards for teacher salaries, they did not rise significantly. Gains in teacher salaries were made through a one-half cent increase in the sales tax approved in 1991. These gains were lessened in 1992 by Amendment 71, which removed household goods from personal property taxes. The state legislature is attempting to solve the problems of inadequate and unstable school funding but faces significant political obstacles. (JPT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).