ARKANSAS SCHOOL CHOICE MARKET
NEARS 80,000 STUDENTS
"The most callused aspect of the current education monopoly in Arkansas is that it willingly and deliberately forces children--except those whose parents have wealth--to attend bad schools.” Policy Foundation report,11998
(January 2018) Records show the Arkansas school choice market continues to grow at a high rate, expanding from an estimated 66,627 K-12 students (2013)2 to 79,325 (2017). This niche educational market includes students eligible to participate in public school choice programs, capped at three percent (3%) of enrollment; and homeschooled, private and charter students.
The Arkansas School Choice Market
School choice has advanced since Foundation analysts Allyson Tucker and Donna Watson wrote their landmark 1996 study recommending charters. The Murphy Commission studies advanced other options in three 1998 studies.
Subsequent Foundation research contributed to the policy debate about charters' viability. Arkansas policymakers expanded student access to charters in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2011, and 2013.
The Arkansas school choice market includes the following student groups:
Charter school students 25,4913
Private school students 20,1914
Public school choice students 14,1235
Homeschooled students 19,5206
APPENDIX: Arkansas Charter School Enrollment (2017-18)
Academies of West Memphis 1,112 Badger Academy Beebe) 47 Miner Academy (Bauxite) 51 A New Tech School (Blytheville) 619 Brunson New Vision Charter (Warren) 264 Cabot Academic Center for Excellence 265 Cross County Elementary Tech Academy 302 Fayetteville Virtual Academy 214 Farmington Career Academies 558 Fountain Lake Charter High School 470 Fountain Lake Middle School Cobra Digital 424 Lincoln New Tech High School 464 Mountain Home High School Career Academies 1,244 Osceola STEM Academy 330 Pea Ridge Business & Manufacturing Academy 123 Rogers New Technology High School 693 Siloam Springs High School Conversion Charter 1,348 Springdale School of Innovation 2,155 The Academies at Jonesboro High School 1,275 Warren High School District Conversion Charter 463 Warren Middle School 386 Washington Academy (Texarkana) 99
Open Enrollment Charters8
Academics Plus (Elementary & High School) 1,050 Arkansas Arts (Elementary, Middle & High School) 792 Arkansas Connections Academy High School 761 Arkansas Virtual Academy High School 737 Capital City Lighthouse Lower Academy 191 Covenant Keepers Charter School 141 Estem Little Rock (Elementary, Middle & High School) 1,968 Exalt Academy of Southwest Little Rock 375 Future School of Fort Smith 162 Haas Hall Academy (Fayetteville & Bentonville) 675 Imboden Area Charter School 64 Jacksonville Lighthouse College Prep ...377 KIPP Delta (Elementary, Middle & High School) 875 KIPP Blytheville (Elementary, Middle & High School) 246 KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School 102 LISA Academy (Elementary, Middle & High School) 1,572 Little Rock Prep Academy Middle School 213 Northwest Arkansas Classical Academies 564 Ozark Montessori Academy Springdale 262 Pine Bluff Lighthouse (Elementary & High School) 300 Premier High School of Little Rock 114 Quest Middle Schools (Little Rock & Pine Bluff) 387 Rockbridge Montessori Charter School 169 SIA Tech (Little Rock) 188
1 “Arkansas' Public Schools: A Thirty Year $20 Billion Taxpayer Investment Yields An Unprecedented Crisis in Academic Performance.”
2 "Arkansas School Choice Market Expands" (Policy Foundation research memo) February 2014
4 ADE, https://adedata.arkansas.gov/statewide/Schools/PrivateSchools.aspx
5 ADE, https://adedata.arkansas.gov/statewide/State/SchoolChoice.aspx
The three percent (3%) cap established by the Public School Choice Act of 2015 limits expansion of this market component. http://www.apscn.org/sis/hdr/PublicSchoolChoiceActOf2015.pdf
6 Arkansas Department of Education Home School Report, 2016-17