Beebe says, "School districts should be able to meet all the state education standards without the help of distance learning."


Beebe's Stand Aligns with Senator Argue's Position and The Courts & More Taxes



Compare Beebe's position, Argue's position, and Asa Hutchinson's position below. Which one makes more sense?


This debate revolves around the rule by the Arkansas Department of Education that the minimum of 38 courses for all high schools are required to be taught, not just offered in every school.   These courses are to be taught even when there are no students in the school that want to take them or that need them for their major.  This was not a law as Argue says below  but was a Arkansas Department of Education rule to make sure they could continue to consolidate schools. Most schools would not have to offer but a couple of  courses by distance learning even to meet this silly rule and keep their schools.  To consolidate an entire school, disrupt an entire community,  and pay for higher cost for longer bus rides,  is the height of foolishness and irresponsibility and cruelty to the children who are being put on buses for 3 and four hours a day when it is not necessary.


See Asa's response at end of email for the sensible approach. (To confirm this "38 courses to be taught not offered"  is a rule by ADE and not be the legislature, call Annette Barnes, Coordinator School Improvement, Ph: 501 682-4393/4380) or email me and I will send you the data she sent to me.


See the money involved in Beebe's and Senator Argue's plan.


Beebe's office joined the governor's office and the state Education Department in opposing Fite's bill, saying it might threaten the state's standing in the long-running court case over educational adequacy and equity.

The attorney general called distance learning "a wonderful supplement, a great tool and you can certainly augment learning with distance learning. But distance learning, no matter how effective it is, is never a substitute for a good classroom teacher."

He said school districts should be able to meet all the state education standards without the help of distance learning.

"We don't need any more consolidation, but everyone should meet the standards and distance learning is a tool but should never be utilized to take away from what the standards are that the Legislature, the court and Gov. Huckabee have already determined are essential for an adequate education," Beebe said. 
"Distance learning takes off, hits political arena by Rob Moritz Arkansas News Bureau, July 30, 06  For entire article see:

Senator Argue

"In spite of our great strides, Hutchinson [referring to Jeremy Hutchinson's bill in last legislative session]wants to take a step backward, to allow some high schools to meet a lower standard by simply making courses readily available through distance learning, itinerant teachers or busing  URL:

"The Lake View decision said that the state must define what constitutes an equal opportunity to an adequate education, make sure every school is providing it, and intervene if schools fail to do so. In response to the decision, the Legislature defined the 38 courses as the minimum number for all high schools, and required them to be taught, not just offered in every school."  Link to entire article URL:  in his guest article, "Why Arkansas must stay the course on school reform"

In another guest article Argue had this to say which shows where he and Beebe's philosophy will lead to more and more taxes. "In the current school year we’ve added $380 million to the school system. Next year we’ll add $170 million, and then in the 2006/07 school year, we will add another $98 million. In addition to these new operating funds, we’ve appropriated $104 million to begin our new school facilities program. This totals $752 million of new spending in our school system in the current and next two school years. Total K-12 spending is now 53 percent of total state general and dedicated revenues, an all time high. Every child is entitled to equal access to schools."  Arkansas Democrat Gazette, May 15, 05  .  "Progress or retreat on education? 

 Now they are reporting that  they are urging $341 million more for schools in '08. "Add $341 million for schools in ’08, consultants urge"  July 21, 06 

Asa Hutchinson


Transcribed from speech at Lincoln day Dinner in Jonesboro, Arkansas April 14,


"And when it comes to an  approach to education,  we all believe that we need to have standards we have to have standard for education and excellence in Arkansas so that regardless of where you go to school, we know that that child is going to get a good quality education that can l compete anywhere across the globe.  So I believe in accountability and performance measure and standards.  But let me tell you when you have a small school, and I went to a small school in Arkansas and I know you can get a good education in a small school.  And when you have a small school that is performing and meeting the standards set by the state and the kids are getting a good education and they are financially sound, the state should be your friend and not your enemy.   We need to look at different ways to support,  and technology is one of them."                   


  "After I made a speech in Russellville a student by the name of Ryan came up to see me.  He said,   Mr. Hutchinson, I want to ask you about distance learning.  I was smart enough to know that when he asked me that question that  he might know more about it than me. I said Ryan what do you think about distance learning and Ryan said I am in a distance learning class in Hector. And it is one of the best experiences I have had a small school but I have a professor connected, interactive ed video from University of Arkansas at  Monticello,.  and I am in this class with student  from Hector, from Eudora, from  Batesville, from Pea Ridge and from different places in Arkansas  and it is the best experience and guess what I am getting college credit for it."


"This is the opportunity for a state help in terms of technology   in providing support for our schools  to make sure the youngster gets a good education and meets the requirements of the state.   And so I believe we have great opportunity in Arkansas to move our state forward into a decade of growth  and excellence  that will benefit  everyone and,  and education is a key part of that.    But  so is growth consistent with our values."








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