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Arkansas State University

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State University might be adding metal detectors at athletic events this fall.

The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/2pHgsHw) reports the preliminary discussions for the detectors comes after the approval of an act last month to allow concealed handguns at public colleges and universities.

Dr. Lyn Bayless, who for 20 years was the "Voice of the Lady Indians" at Arkansas State University, passed away on Wednesday in Little Rock.

Bayless was retired Chairman of Speech Communications and Dramatic Arts at A-State, and he was a past president of the Rotary Club of Jonesboro.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 pm at Emerson Memorial Chapel in Jonesboro.  Bayless was 85.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles Welch has released a statement on how the university system will respond to the recent act that will allow concealed handguns to be carried on campus.  The full text is below: 

Colleagues,

I want to update the entire Arkansas State University System community on how we plan to move forward with the implementation of Act 562 of 2017, which concerns the possession of concealed handguns on our campuses.

Arkansas Department of Education

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key is pleased to announce that Dr. Ivy Pfeffer has been named deputy commissioner. Pfeffer, the current assistant commissioner for Educator Effectiveness and Licensure, will assume her new role July 1. She replaces Dr. Mark Gotcher, who accepted the superintendent position at the Russellville School District effective July 1. 

Pixabay

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — Should U.S. high school students know at least as much about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist papers as immigrants passing a citizenship test?

In a growing number of school systems, having such a basic knowledge is now a graduation requirement. But states are taking different approaches to combating what's seen as a widespread lack of knowledge about how government works.

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas community college has been placed on probation after a regional accrediting agency said it didn't meet three criteria related mostly to assessing student learning and could fail another five.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2nP9vUe) reports Black River Technical College must provide evidence to the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission that it's worked on the criteria by July 1, 2018. The Pocahontas community college must also host an on-site visit no later than September 2018.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is expected to announce on Tuesday a new education plan that will emphasize more accountability, especially when it comes to teaching traditionally underserved kids.

The plan outlines how Tennessee will comply with a federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

A bill to create educational savings accounts for Arkansas students failed in the Arkansas House today on a 46 to 39 vote Friday.

The so-called “Parental Choice Program,” SB 746, was not written to be a traditional vouchers program financed directly by the state. Instead it would have created non-profit organizations to funnel contributions from taxpayers and corporations to parents for their children’s school of choice. Donors to those organizations would get a 65 percent tax credit at an estimated $3 million annual cost to the state for three of a four-year pilot.

Arkansas State University

The 23rd Delta Symposium at Arkansas State University starts Wednesday, April 5th and runs through Saturday, April 8th.  Listen to the entire interview to get information about the festival.  The interview features Dr. Gregory Hansen with Arkansas State.  Learn more about the lineup of the festival symposium here.    

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would create a school voucher pilot program for Shelby County has passed in a House committee following rancorous debate.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Brooks, a Republican from Knoxville, would allow public school children to use taxpayer money to go to private schools.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University announced today the Bradbury Family Foundation of Little Rock has made a major gift to establish the Bradbury Free Enterprise Scholars Program.

At $300,000, this is​ the largest gift designated to scholarships in the history of A-State's College of Business.  It comes following a series of increasingly significant gifts to business education.

JONESBORO — Isaac White, a student at Arkansas State University, has been selected as a recipient of a Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) for 2017. He is the first online Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at Arkansas State to receive this honor.

Talk Business & Politics

A heated debate that has been stewing in Northeast Arkansas for months spilled over into a House panel on Tuesday (Feb. 28) after lawmakers backed a plan to merge Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute of Forrest City into its next door neighbor, East Arkansas Community College (EACC).

Schools in Arkansas get $6,600 for every student. So when kids leave a public school, the money leaves too. The state chips in temporarily to cover the financial loss, but a pair of lawmakers want to end that.

A bill requiring public universities to allow faculty, staff and students 25 years or older to carry concealed firearms on campuses may be coming up for a vote Monday afternoon in the Arkansas Senate. HB1249 is on the calendar after being amended in recent weeks to include provisions requiring additional training and extending concealed carry privileges to some students.

Arkansas State University System

$100 million dollars from private investors have already been poured into the ASU-Queretaro Campus in Queretaro, Mexico.   ASU System President Dr. Charles Welch says over 4,000 students have inquired or applied for the open positions that are available for the first class that will be open in August.  

The new campus is actually a mixed-use design with the new campus as the anchor.  The total master plan community consists of over 2,000 acres…370 acres consist of the campus, with the rest a mix of residential and commercial properties. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Arkansas State University System is having a board meeting Friday in Mountain Home.  Watch the board meeting to see what develops.

Read along with the agenda.

Public school districts in Arkansas regularly buy and sell property, pending approval of local education boards, of course. But today, the Arkansas Senate approved a bill that would take some of that control away.

Senate Bill 308 would allow charter schools the right to purchase or lease unused public school buildings, a seemingly small concession that nonetheless raises big questions about local versus state control of schools and inspired a heated back and forth between senators this week.

Sen. Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale) said Tuesday that some public school districts let buildings sit empty, a misfortune he equated to murdering a building.

“We have had schools literally rot to the ground rather than let someone use them for educational purposes. That should never happen.”

Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock) had a lot of questions for Clark. She told a Senate Education Committee Tuesday that the bill is heavy handed, and she said it takes local control from public districts.

Under a bill that cleared the Senate Education Committee Tuesday on a voice vote, all private schools would be given public funds to take special needs kids if parents so choose, even if they haven’t achieved what’s called “accreditation.”

The Arkansas Department of Education says it can take four years to get that status. State Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D- Little Rock) says accreditation is evidence that the schools are doing a good job.

Arkansas State University System

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees meets Friday for its quarterly meeting in Mountain Home.  They will meet at 10 a.m.  Click here to view the entire agenda.  

A bill to open-up membership in the public charter school authorizing panel to anyone in the public – without requirement – sailed through the Arkansas Senate on Monday. Currently the panel that makes recommendations on whether charter schools should open, close, or expand is made up of Department of Education employees.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren said establishing criteria for holding the posts is a burden on the state.

Arkansas State University

A partnership between Arkansas’ two major universities will allow students to get a dual degree in poultry sciences.   

Arkansas leads the nation in poultry production.  With Tyson Foods in northwest Arkansas and Ozark Mountain Poultry and Peco Foods in eastern Arkansas, more graduates are needed in the field of poultry science. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Arkansas State  University has announced that it has opened the search for a new permanent chancellor in Jonesboro. System president Dr. Charles Welch  made the announcement in an email sent to members within the university system. Please view the entire letter below:

Campus Community,

Another concern is being raised about legislation that would require public universities and colleges in Arkansas to allow licensed faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on campus.

John Pijanowski, chair of the campus faculty senate at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, believes the campus carry bill could be in conflict with existing laws regarding guns in churches.

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