“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


(December 2018) The Arkansas school choice market continues its explosive growth rate, expanding from an estimated 66,627 K-12 students (2013)2 to more than 83,000 (2018). This niche market includes those eligible for public school choice programs; and homeschooled, private and charter students.


The Arkansas School Choice Market


School choice has advanced since Policy Foundation analysts Allyson Tucker and Donna Watson wrote their landmark 1996 study recommending charters. Three 1998 studies by the Murphy Commission-a Foundation project- advanced other options. The Arkansas market includes the following groups:


Charter school students 27,8893
Private school students 20,5534
Public school choice students 15,1525
Homeschooled students
–Greg Kaza


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

3 http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/public-school-accountability/charter-schools. Arkansas Department of Education (ADE): Conversion Charters, 13,001; Open Enrollment Charters 14,888 (2018-19)

4 ADE, https://adedata.arkansas.gov/statewide/Schools/PrivateSchools.aspx (2017-2018)

5 ADE, https://adedata.arkansas.gov/statewide/State/SchoolChoice.aspx (2018-19)

6 Policy Foundation estimate (2017-18). ADE reported 19,529 homeschooled students in 2016-17.