UACES Facebook Ballot Group Focusing on Arkansas Education Issues
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Ballot Group Focusing on Arkansas Education Issues

by Kristin Higgins - March 30, 2022

Arkansas Ballot Issue newsletter graphic

Thirty years after the filing of a lawsuit over Arkansas' education funding formula, a ballot issue group seeks the support of Arkansas voters to increase classroom funding.

Representatives of Arkansans for a World Class Education filed a proposal with the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office in January. The Public Schools Amendment of 2022 seeks to increase annual spending by $400 per child, increase teacher salaries, and establish an independent Division of Primary and Secondary Education, among other changes.
A spokesperson for the group said they are using volunteers to gather the more than 80,000 voter signatures they will need to collect by this summer to qualify for the statewide ballot.
"We've had pretty good response from volunteers from around the state with people collecting in south Arkansas, Texarkana and the Fayetteville area," said Julia Taylor, the group's acting director and treasurer.
Taylor said the group's work had started before the pandemic, with parents, teachers and others interested in education discussing what could be done to support schools. Although education hasn't been on the ballot in recent years, Taylor mentioned the impact of the Lake View court case, which was filed in 1992 and ended in 2007.
Educational funding has improved since the court case, Taylor said, "but we have a lot more money we can sink into education. We had a nearly billion dollar surplus in 2021."

Status of Statewide Ballot Issues

As of March 24, 2022, titles for 12 ballot issues have been filed with the Secretary of State's Office for the November 2022 election. Proposals from the legislature and those filed by citizen groups can be found in our March newsletter of Arkansas Ballot Issues News and Notes.