(Little Rock) – Being a high academic performing and/or growing school not only serves students, but may also result in additional reward funding.
For the 2015-16 school year, 201 public schools were recently recognized as either high performing schools, high gaining schools, or both through the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program. The program recognizes the top 10 percent of schools based on academic achievement and/or academic growth and graduation rates. Mena Middle School was one of those 201 schools in the state to receive the honor and a monetary award for their achievements.
According to the Arkansas Department of Education, “the Arkansas School Recognition Program, Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2107, was created to provide financial awards to public schools that achieve high student performance and public schools that achieve high student academic growth, which includes high school graduation rates where applicable.”
The statute authorizes rewards in an amount up to $100 per student who attends a public school or public charter school in the top 5 percent of all Arkansas public schools in student performance or student academic growth, which includes high school graduation rates for secondary schools.
Up to $50 per student enrolled is awarded to public schools or public charter schools between the top 5 percent and the next 5 percent (schools in the top 6-10 percent) of all public schools in Arkansas in student performance or student academic growth, which includes high school graduation rates for secondary schools. Mena Middle School is in this category and State Representative John Maddox presented their $19,650 award on July 13, 2017 to MMS Principal Clifton Sherrer, MMS Asst. Principal Todd Coogan, and Superintendent Benny Weston.
Schools receiving recognition funds must establish a committee to determine the best use of the funds. The committee includes the principal, a teacher elected by the faculty, and a parent representative selected by the local parent teacher organization or another parental involvement group.
Schools may use the funds for faculty and staff bonuses, educational equipment and materials, or personnel to assist with improving or maintaining student performance and growth.
Arkansas Learns, the Voice of Business for excellent education options for all students, championed the Reward School funding in the 89th, 90th and 91st General Assemblies and provided the presentation checks for Legislators. For more, visit ArkansasLearns.org, and use #RewardSchool and @ArkansasLearns on social media.