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Arkansas receives $1 million grant to support high-impact tutoring

By: - April 27, 2023 10:45 am
Smiling teacher teaching girl studying on digital tablet in classroom

(Getty Images)

Arkansas is one of five states awarded a $1 million grant to support high-impact tutoring for K-5 public school students in the upcoming academic year.

The grant is awarded by the States Leading Recovery program at Accelerate, a national nonprofit organization “working to make effective tutoring a standard feature” of the school day, according to a press release.

The LEARNS Act, an expansive education law approved in March, includes a provision that creates the Arkansas High-Impact Tutoring Pilot Program, which will be administered by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education starting with the 2023-24 school year.

Rules still need to be developed for the program, including a process for providing grant funding to public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools to provide in-school tutoring. Participating schools will be required to provide a funding match.

“We are thankful to the States Leading Recovery program for reviewing our application and awarding Arkansas with this generous grant to expand our existing high-impact tutoring programs,” Arkansas Education Secretary Jacob Oliva said in a statement. “These additional funds will leverage resources and align with Gov. Sanders’ Arkansas LEARNS Act that emphasizes enhanced literacy and tutoring programs that will support student learning.”

Arkansas Secretary of Education nominee Jacob Oliva
Jacob Oliva (Photo courtesy of the Florida Department of Education)

In addition to the $1 million grant, Accelerate will provide all grantees with implementation support. Arkansas will invest a total of $2 million in high-impact tutoring because all grantees were required to match the $1 million grant with public or philanthropic funds, according to a press release.

In a statement, Accelerate CEO Kevin Huffman said while many states recognize the importance of high-impact tutoring, “we need a handful of leading states to create model policy agendas that other states can learn from.” 

“We need the public sector to invest in tutoring programs that work and structure the school day so that all students have access to those programs, and we need the private sector to create products that are high-quality, scalable and easy to use,” Huffman said. “Accelerate is working on both sides of this equation with a serious sense of urgency — millions of students can’t wait 10 years for the market to evolve.”

About a dozen states applied for the competitive grant. Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana and Ohio join Arkansas in being a part of the inaugural cohort of grantees.

Launched in April 2022 with an initial fund of $65 million, Accelerate is supported by Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin, the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation and Arnold Ventures.

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Antoinette Grajeda
Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is a multimedia journalist who has reported since 2007 on a wide range of topics, including politics, health, education, immigration and the arts for NPR affiliates, print publications and digital platforms. A University of Arkansas alumna, she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a master’s degree in documentary film.

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