Of the State of Arkansas’s $4,747,500,000 annual general revenue, $3,038,400,000 (64%) is spent on education.
General Education (K – 12) and its 468,066 students receive $2,183,850,000 (46%) of general revenue, while the state’s Higher Education institutions and their 155,201 students receive $854,550,000 (18%).
The success or failure of General and Higher Education directly impact the other major areas of the state budget – Health & Human Services’ $1,091,925 (23%) and Criminal Justice’s $427,275,000 (9%).
There are currently 468,066 students being taught by 33,983 teachers in 1,080 public schools in 239 school districts in Arkansas. Our cumulative graduation rate is 80.7%. If that were a grade, we’re less than a point away from a C+.
Education excellence, or lack thereof, directly affects us all. Let’s make sure our elected, appointed and administrative officials, at all levels, maximize our investment. Otherwise, Health & Human Services and Criminal Justice will one day be the new 64%.