Policy Research Archive—2007

Gov. Beebe To Speak At Jan. 23 Policy Foundation Forum

(Decmeber 2007)
Freshman Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe will speak at a Jan. 23 Policy Foundation forum in Little Rock on the topic of his proposal to phase-out the state sales tax on groceries. The forum will start at 10 a.m. at the Peabody Hotel.

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Policy Foundation Renews Call For Dynamic Analysis

(November 2007)
The Policy Foundation, in light of monthly revenue reports since the July 1 grocery tax cut is renewing its 1998 and 2006 proposals to subject any state tax cuts to a process of dynamic analysis.

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At-Risk Students & Arkansas Charter School Expansion, Pt. 2

(November 2007)
Critics of Arkansas's charter school experiment, the Policy Foundation noted last month perpetuate the stereotype that charters are established to benefit privileged children. They ignore that all three expansions (1999, 2005, 2007) of the Arkansas charter statute occurred after policymakers concluded charters serving at-risk students serve an important role.

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At-Risk Student and Arkansas Charter School Expansion, Pt. 1

(October 2007)
The role of at-risk students in the creation of Arkansas charter schools is generally overlooked. Critics continue to perpetuate the stereotype that charters are established to benefit the children of privilege. Yet all three expansions of the Arkansas charter statute occurred after legislators concluded charters serving at-risk students serve an important role.

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West & South Lead U.S. Jobs Growth
Arkansas Trails U.S. Average

(September 2007)
Federal tax cuts passed earlier this decade continue to fuel the U.S. expansion, which is approaching its seventh year. U.S. nonfarm payroll employment (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expanded 5.5 percent between November 2001, the expansion's first month and July, a growth rate exceeded by regional economies in the West, Plains, and South

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Little Rock School District Tops State in Staff Assaults

(August 2007)
The Little Rock School District, the state's largest, also reported the highest number of assaults on staff, according to records obtained by the Policy Foundation under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Arkansas 2005–2006 School District Rankings

(July 2007)
This study relies on Spring 2006 testing data from Arkansas students taking the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills to evaluate the performance of 251 K-12 public school districts. Using a standard distribution, 14 districts earned A or A- grades; 61 districts received B+, B or B- grades; 111 districts earned C+, C or C- grades; 47 districts received D+, D or D- grades; and 18 districts were assigned failing grades of F. Using a modified distribution, 14 districts earned A or A- grades; 79 districts received B+, B or B- grades; 110 districts earned C+, C or C- grades; 35 districts received D+, D or D- grades; and 13 districts were assigned failing grades of F.

Education reforms discussed in this article include charter schools, inter-district school choice, home schooling and publicly-funded vouchers.

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Milton Friedman Remembered At July 31 Little Rock Event

(July 2007)
The Late Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the 1976 Nobel laureate in economics will be remembered at a July 31 event at 11:45 a.m. at the Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock. The event, in the first floor auditorium room of the Reynolds Building, will feature a lecture, video of Dr. Friedman and free pizza and soda pop provided by the Policy Foundation.

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Administrative Restructuring In Little Rock School District Saved $4.8 Million

June 18, 2007
Recent events in Arkansas' largest district—Little Rock—have generated media coverage in national outlets including The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The school board, in a 4-to-3 vote, decided to buyout the contract of Dr. Roy G. Brooks. Little rock was released from federal court supervision under Dr. Brooks, the superintendent who in three years enacted administrative restructuring while moving to make Little Rock the highest performing urban school district in the U.S.

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Achieving 100 Percent

June 2007
A group of Arkansas business and community leaders have started a project with the ambitious goal of increasing Arkansas' per capita income to the U.S. average by year 2020. The group, known as the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation has developed a plan.

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An Arkansas Governor Proposes A State Income Tax Cut

May 2007
Imagine an Arkansas governor who propose cutting the state income tax. One media report describes the legislature's reaction to the proposal as "only slightly warmer than Little Rock's high temperature (that day) of 28 degrees." A now-defunct Little Rock daily newspaper's editorial page attacks the governor as "anti-tax" and "anti-government". Why is the governor proposing an income tax cut? The governor, in his own words, states, "We must correct the popular myth that a high level of government will solve our problems and meet our needs."

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Arkansas Income Tax Rate Cut Topic of May 17 Little Rock Luncheon

May 2007
Arkansas State Representative Ed Garner will be featured speaker at a May 17 Policy Foundation luncheon forum in Little Rock. Rep. Garner will discuss is work to lower the Arkansas income tax rate, the Murphy Commission, and the large number of government panels and commissions in Arkansas.

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Government Employment Growth Surpasses Private Sector For Sixth Year

April 2007
Annualized Arkansas state and local government employment expanded at one of the largest percentage rates this decade in 2006, surpassing private sector job growth for the sixth consecutive year.

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Murphy Commission Recommendations Approved In 2007 Session

April 2007
Two Murphy Commission policy recommendations—broader charter school expansion and performance pay for teachers—were approved by the 86th General Assembly and signed into law by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe in the session that ended this month.

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Performance Pay For Teachers

PA 1029 of 2007 (sponsor: Rep. Mike Kenney, R-Siloam Springs) establishes a pilot performance pay program for teachers in up to 12 public school districts or charter schools.

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Legislative Diversity Has Increased Under Term Limits

March 2007
The people of Arkansas, in 1992, approved an amendment to the state Constitution establishing three two-year terms in the House of Representatives and two four-year terms in the House. Citizens upheld these term limits by a wide margin in the 2004 statewide vote.

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The Biggest Tax Cut In Arkansas History

February 15, 2007
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law today the biggest tax cut in Arkansas history, a 50 percent reduction in the state sales tax on groceries that will save taxpayers nearly $200 million annually. The measure, which takes effect in July, will reduce the sales tax on groceries from six to three percent. Beebe, a Democrat, has pledge to phase-out the tax.

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Recommendation: Apply Dynamic Analysis to Major Tax Proposals

The Policy Foundation is recommending that the state Department of Finance and Administration apply dynamic analysis to Gov. Beebe's grocery tax cut and other fiscal measures. In 1998, the Murphy Commission, a Policy Foundation project, made a similar recommendation:

"All tax proposals should be submitted to a process of dynamic scoring in order to assess the economic impact. Finding should be reported to the public before enactment of the policy."

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A Middle Class Tax Cut

January 2007
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has proposed a phase out of the state sales tax on groceries, starting with a 50 percent reduction from six to three cents in 2007. His ideas as been criticized for not providing enough tax relief for low-income Arkansans by some policymakers who prefer a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). U.S. Census Bureau data suggest Gov. Beebe's proposal—not a state EITC—would benefit a larger group: more than 500,000 middle class households in Arkansas.

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Making A Difference In Arkansas

The Arkansas Council on Economic Education (ACEE) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 to promote economic literacy in Arkansas.

Peer-Reviewed Research

The Arkansas Policy Foundation is an educational organization that regularly submits its research to scholarly journals that use a peer review process.

Journal Publications

'Regulation of financial derivatives in the U.S. code'
Derivatives Use, Trading and Regulation
(London, U.K.) Palgrave Macmillian Ltd.
February 2006
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'Deflation & Economic Growth'
(Piscataway, N.J.) Transaction Periodicals Consortium, Rutgers University
Summer 2006

Policy Foundation research on this topic cited by Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe (Opinion No. 2005-291)

'A review of state statutes regulating financial derivatives in the USA'
Pensions, an International Journal
(London, U.K.) Palgrave Macmillian Ltd.
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