40 Arkansas School Districts To Get Over $100M In Repair Aid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is awarding 40 school districts a combined $103.7 million in state funding for campus building, expansion and system replacement projects in fiscal year 2019-20.

The Commission for Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation approved subsidizing each district's separate projects on Wednesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The school districts receiving state backing include Springdale, Little Rock, Earle and Maynard.

The West Memphis School District will get the most money in the first year of the state's two-year funding cycle, receiving more than $20 million to replace three junior high school buildings.

The funding comes from the Arkansas Academic Facilities Partnership Program.

Any school district receiving building funds from the state must execute a contract with the facilities division for a partnership program project within 60 days of the commission's vote authorizing the subsidies. Construction for the project must also begin within 18 months of the commission's approval, which would be stated in a signed construction agreement. Within four years of the commission's vote, the project must be completed.

The state's share of the costs is determined by a district's student enrollment and its local property tax wealth, with more affluent districts qualifying for smaller fractions of state building assistance or no building repair aid at all.

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