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Arkansas – Succeed Scholarship Program

Arkansas – Succeed Scholarship Program

Arkansas’ Succeed Scholarship Program is the state’s first school choice program. This school voucher program was enacted in 2015 and launched for the use of families in 2016. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

Program Fast Facts

  • Reduces eligibility requirements for dependents of active-duty members of the military

  • 23 participating students (Spring 2017)

  • 13 percent of students eligible statewide

  • 26 participating schools (Spring 2017)

  • Average voucher value: $6,646 (2016–17)

  • Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 69 percent

Program Details

Percent of Arkansas K–12 students eligible for the Succeed Scholarship Program

Click the + symbols to learn more about this program’s details.

Arkansas provides private school vouchers to students in foster care or students with disabilities. Students who fall under either category must have previously attended public school, unless they are children of active-duty military families.

Student Funding

Each student’s voucher is funded at the public school foundation funding amount for the current school year ($6,646 in 2016–17), up to but not exceeding the amount of tuition and fees at the private school.

Student Eligibility

Students must be accepted to a private school that is eligible to participate in the Succeed Scholarship program and A) be in foster care or B) have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students that meet the aforementioned requirements must also either be A) dependents of active-duty military members or B) have been enrolled in an Arkansas public school for at least one year. For the 2016–17 school year, the program shall be limited to 100 students. Beginning in 2017–18, students in foster care were made eligible, and up to 20 vouchers were made available for those students. Also beginning in 2017–18, the program allows the superintendent of a student’s resident school district to waive the requirement that the student previously attend public school for one year.

EdChoice Expert Feedback

In the state where black students were first able to receive quality education through the integration of public schools, the passage of Arkansas’ Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities has become another historical milestone for educational opportunity. However, it is just one step. Eligibility for this program is too restrictive for Arkansas students. It should reflect the message of Little Rock: all students should be eligible for a scholarship to attend any school of choice. Further, the funding of the program is maxed at 69 percent of public school per-student spending. This cap should be raised to allow students greater purchasing power and access to more schooling options.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: None
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: none, except students in foster care are capped at 20
  • Maximum voucher amount: $6,646
  • Testing Mandates: Nationally recognized norm-referenced test
  • Limited to students with special needs who have either been enrolled in an Arkansas public school for at least one year or are dependents of active-duty members of the military

School Requirements:

  • Be accredited by the Arkansas State Board of Education or an associate member, the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association or another accrediting association recognized by the state board of education as providing services to individuals with severe disabilities
    • If not accredited within four years, schools are no longer eligible until they receive accreditation
  • Be in business for at least one year, provide a CPA validated statement of fiscal solvency and insurance coverage or provide a surety bond or letter of credit for the amount of scholarship funds for any quarter
  • Notify Arkansas Department of Education of the specific grade levels and services available to students with disabilities when applying for to participate in the program
  • Comply with health and safety laws that apply to private schools Be accountable to parents for meeting the educational needs of the student
  • Semi-annually affirm under oath that the student has been enrolled in and is attending and participating in the school
  • Employ teachers with no less than a bachelor’s degree
  • Comply with federal antidiscrimination provisions
  • Comply with existing laws governing private schools
  • Adhere to the tenets of the private school’s published disciplinary rules before expulsion of any student receiving a voucher

Governing Statutes

Ark. Code Ann. §§ 6-41-801 through 807

Legal History

No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

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