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6-15-215.  The Arkansas Smart Core Incentive Funding Program.

(a) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) The skills and knowledge gained through Arkansas's Smart Core curriculum provide the academic foundation required for high school graduates to succeed in their first year of college or in a job that promises a well-paying career track; and

(2) School districts should encourage all students who are capable of completing the Smart Core curriculum to do so.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) "Eligible high school" means each public high school in a school district that meets the criteria to receive incentive funding under subsection (f) of this section and the program rules adopted under this section by the State Board of Education;

(2) "Smart Core" means the curriculum established by the Department of Education under the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts that is part of Smart Future, a state initiative focused on improving Arkansas public high schools for all students; and

(3) "Smart Core graduate" means a student who graduated from an Arkansas public high school after having successfully completed the Smart Core curriculum.

(c) The Arkansas Smart Core Incentive Funding Program is established to provide a financial incentive to:

(1) Assist with a public high school's efforts to encourage public high school students to complete the Smart Core curriculum; and

(2) Promote programs that contribute to student success, including without limitation:

(A) Tutoring;

(B) Quality after-school and summer programs that may include the College Preparatory Enrichment Program (CPEP) and literacy, math, and science specialists in elementary school; and

(C) Professional development for mathematics, science, literacy, foreign language, and Advanced Placement instruction; and

(3) Provide support to school counselors to improve student services.

(d) (1) (A) A school district that receives incentive funding under this section shall provide the incentive funding to each eligible high school in the school district.

(B) The eligible high school shall spend the incentive funding only for the purposes identified in subsection (c) of this section.

(2) A school district that receives incentive funding under this program shall not use the incentive funding to provide increases to the salary schedule of the school district.

(e) (1) Subject to an appropriation and available funding for the program, the department shall pay incentive funding to a school district under this section based on an annual percentage of Smart Core graduates from a public high school in the school district.

(2) (A) The department shall make the calculation based on a student record analysis conducted annually by the department beginning with the graduating class of 2010.

(B) The department shall exclude from the student record analysis a student with an individualized education program that does not require a student to complete the Smart Core curriculum.

(f) (1) By June 30 of each year, the department shall pay to a school district incentive funding under the program as follows:

(A) If one hundred percent (100%) of a public high school's graduates in the immediately preceding school year completed the Smart Core curriculum, the school district where the public high school is located shall receive one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) per Smart Core graduate;

(B) If at least ninety-five percent (95%) but less than one hundred percent (100%) of a public high school's graduates in the immediately preceding school year completed the Smart Core curriculum, the school district where the public high school is located shall receive one hundred dollars ($100) per Smart Core graduate; and

(C) If at least ninety percent (90%) but less than ninety-five percent (95%) of a public high school's graduates in the immediately preceding school year completed the Smart Core curriculum, the school district where the public high school is located shall receive fifty dollars ($50.00) per Smart Core graduate.

(2) The department shall not pay incentive funding to a school district for a public high school in which less than ninety percent (90%) of its graduates complete the Smart Core curriculum.

(3) If a public high school's graduation rate falls below the average graduation rate for the public high school for the previous three (3) school years, the school district is not eligible to receive the full incentive award under the program for the public high school.

(g) Participation in the Arkansas Smart Core Incentive Funding Program is voluntary.

(h) This section is effective from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2020.

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Local Government
Arkansas
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Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson
January 13, 2015 -
Republican
501-682-5080
425 W Capitol Ave. Suite 1620, Little Rock, AR, 72201

Keywords
school
high
smart
incentive
funding
core
curriculum
student
provide
receive