The ACRE Review

Shine a Light on Local Governments

By Caleb Taylor In an op-ed published Thursday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, ACRE Policy Analyst Dr. Mavuto Kalulu and ACRE Research Assistant Terra Aquia discuss the need for greater transparency of county government operations in Arkansas. According to Kalulu and Aquia, county governments in general are far less transparent than state government in Arkansas. Kalulu […]

How to Improve Arkansas’s Sales and Use Tax

By Nicole Kaeding and Jeremy Horpedahl [Also posted at the Tax Foundation blog] Arkansas’s Tax Reform and Relief Task Force will continue its job of working to improve Arkansas’s tax system next week. Now that the process of choosing and hearing from the consultant, PFM Group, is done the Task Force is now really getting […]

Occupational Licensing in Arkansas

By Alexandria Tatem A recent policy brief by the Mercatus Center highlighted Arkansas’s excessive occupational licensing policy. When the state government imposes licensing requirements on an occupation, it means a worker must get permission from the state before practicing that profession. The worker typically has to have a minimum level of education and experience, pass exams, […]

Civil Asset Forfeiture in Arkansas

By Maleka Momand Would you believe me if I told you a police officer could pull you over on the highway, take your cash, phone, and other valuables, and keep them without charging you for a crime? To most people, this scenario sounds like highway robbery, but it is a daily occurrence in Arkansas. Civil asset forfeiture is […]

The Sales Tax, Special Elections, and Voter Turnout

By Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl   Arkansas has the third highest combined state and local tax rate in the nation. How did this happen? Research we are conducting at the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics suggests that part of the reason is that many counties and cities have elected to increase their own sales tax rates. […]

Myth 5: Traditional Public Schools will be Forced to shut down Because they can’t Compete with Open Enrollment Charter Schools

When a charter school opens in the vicinity of a traditional public school, some people fear that the decreased enrollment caused by students transferring will cause the traditional public schools to shut down. When a public school shuts down, children are assigned to other schools, which they and their parents may or may not like. […]

Myth 4: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Receive more Public Funding than Traditional Public Schools

The public school system in Arkansas is funded with taxpayers’ money. Over the years, the amount of money that the state allocates per student has been rising, with the hope that the additional resources provided by more funding will improve students’ performance. What have taxpayers bought with these additional funds? Figure 1 shows the trends […]

Myth 3: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Hire Underqualified Teachers

Opponents criticize open enrollment charter schools for employing “underqualified” teachers. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) defines a highly qualified teacher as one who is licensed, demonstrates subject-matter competence by passing a content knowledge test, and holds at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject that he or she will teach. In contrast to traditional […]

Myth 2: Education Outcomes at Open Enrollment Charter Schools are Worse than Those at Traditional Public Schools

No Arkansas parent wants their child to attend a failing school. Proponents of school choice argue that open enrollment charter schools—an alternative to traditional public schools—improve the performance of the students they enroll. Opponents argue that open enrollment charter schools erode the quality of education and hurt the performance of the students that they enroll. […]

Myth 1: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Don’t Enroll Many Black or Hispanic Students

Arkansas has a history of severe racial problems in its K–12 schools. A case in point is the infamous 1957 Little Rock Nine case, in which a group of nine African American students were denied enrollment at the all-white Central High public school. Over the years, laws have been enacted to ensure that public schools […]