School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Does the state have charter schools?

Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?

Did not find

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?


"The department, the State Board of Education, or a combination of the department and state board may grant no more than a total of 24 charters for open-enrollment public charter schools."

However, "if the cap on the number of charters available for an open-enrollment public charter school is within 2 charters of meeting any existing limitation or cap on available open-enrollment charters, the number of available charters shall automatically increase by 5 slots more than the most recent existing limitation or cap on open-enrollment charters."


Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Did not find-

We did not find information about charter school transportation requirements in Arkansas statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that Arkansas does not specify who must provide transportation to charter school students.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?


Public charters can employ a non-licensed classroom teacher with a waiver of teacher licensure requirements granted by the state board in the charter.


Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?


We are unable to determine whether Arkansas statutes allow for full-time digital learning.

Act 1280 of 2013 allowed for the expansion of digital learning opportunities to all Arkansas public school students. "Digital learning" means a digital technology or internet-based educational delivery model that does not rely exclusively on compressed interactive video.

The state board shall not limit the number of digital learning courses for which a student may receive credit through a public school or a public charter school and shall ensure that digital learning courses may be used as both primary and secondary methods of instruction.

6-16-1402. Legislative intent
6-16-1403(a)(1). Digital learning

6-16-1406.(e) Digital learning courses

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?


"A qualified teacher who delivers digital learning courses under this subchapter is not required to be licensed as a teacher or administrator by the state board, but shall meet the minimum qualifications for teaching in a core content area established by rules of the state board."

6-16-1405.(B) Digital learning providers.

Private School Choice

Does the state have voucher programs?


Arkansas statutes allow for the Succeed Scholarship Program.


Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Did not find-

We did not find mention of whether students can use vouchers to attend religious schools; however, see 6-41-903(b) for school eligibility.


Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?


The Department of Education shall approve a maximum of twenty (20) scholarships under this subchapter per academic year for students in foster care.


Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?


"An eligible private school shall administer annually or make provisions for a student participating in the scholarship program to take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test as established by the State Board of Education." However, if a student's IEP exempts the student from standardized exams, the school is not required to administer or make provisions for these exams.

6-41-903 (d)(1)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Did not find

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Did not find

Interdistrict School Choice

Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?


"A public school choice program is hereby established to enable any student to transfer from a public school or school district classified by the state board as a public school or school district in academic distress to another public school or school district in the state that is not in academic distress, subject to the restrictions contained in this section."


Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?


(A) "The receiving public school or school district may transport students to and from the transferring public school or school district, and the cost of transporting students shall be the responsibility of the transferring public school or school district except as provided under subdivisions (c)(1)(B) and (c)(2) of this section."

(B) "A transferring public school or school district shall not be required to spend more than four hundred dollars ($400) per student per school year for transportation required under subdivision (c)(1)(A) of this section."


Page last updated: January 2021

Click here to download the State Policy Spreadsheet. Click here to download the State Policy Map Data Memo.

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The State Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes in fall 2019; data checks continued through December 2020. Information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. The State Policy Map does not systematically reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Links to third-party websites are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.

Note: On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from the state's tax credit scholarship program was unconstitutional (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue 591). The responses to the question "Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?" were collected before this ruling and therefore do not reflect any changes resulting from the Espinoza decision.