Joe Harris

Marvell-Elaine High School junior Kayla Gatson, 17, urged the State Board of Education not to impose a charter school upon the district during a board meeting held in Marvell on Thursday, April 13, 2023. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Marvell-Elaine prepares to start the school year under Arkansas’ first ‘transformation contract’

BY: - August 11, 2023

After a summer of uncertainty, the Marvell-Elaine School District will start the school year Monday under the direction of a charter school management organization.  The tiny district in eastern Arkansas this month finalized a $200,000-per-year “transformation contract” with Friendship Education Foundation, the first such contract in the state.  A provision of the LEARNS Act, the […]

Ali Noland, Arkansas State Board of Education

Arkansas education board approves first ‘transformation contract’ under LEARNS Act

BY: - May 5, 2023

The Arkansas State Board of Education on Friday approved a first-of-its-kind arrangement to allow a charter school company to run a public school district under threat of closure. The board voted in favor of a recommendation for the Marvell-Elaine District to enter into a “transformation contract” with the Friendship Education Foundation, the first such agreement […]

Rep. Mark McElroy, R-Tillar

Lawmakers advance bills softening school district consolidation law

BY: - March 29, 2023

The Arkansas House of Representatives on Wednesday approved two bills that would allow some school districts to avoid forced consolidation.  Both bills seek to amend the nearly 20-year-old Public Education Reorganization Act, which requires the Arkansas Department of Education to publish an annual consolidation list of all districts with fewer than 350 students.  Senate Bill […]