Policy Research Archive

Road Map For Arkansas Prosperity

(December 2008)
Public policies enacted in the last 15 years have not altered one sobering fact: Arkansas has ranked second or third worst in the nation in per capita personal income for nearly the entire postwar era (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

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Fiscal Recommendations

Phase-Out The State Sales Tax On Groceries

Use Dynamic Analysis in Revenue Estimation

No Income Tax Increase. Reduce Top Rate to Highest Border State Rate

Performance-Based Budgeting and Activities-Based Costing

Use Performance Reviews to Identify Cost Savings

Education Reform Recommendations

Defend Charter Schools

Progress Toward Transparency

Letter Grades For K-12 Districts

Administrative Restructuring

Merge All Existing Co-ops

Medical Care Recommendations

Emphasis on Prevention

Identifying the Uninsured

Medical Care in Rural Arkansas

Review State-Mandated Health Benefits

Fiscal Discipline and the Beebe Grocery Tax Cut Proposal

(November 2008)
Freshman Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is gradually accomplishing a goal that evaded his predecessors: a broad tax cut achieved with modest fiscal discipline.

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Arkansas Income Tax Rates Higher Than Border States

(October 2008)
Arkansas has the highest income tax rate among the states that border it, according to 2008 data compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators. The group has published a chart that shows Arkansas has a top rate of 7 percent. The chart can be viewed at: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/ind_inc.html

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Arkansas School District College Remediation Rates (2007)

(October 2008)
Thirteen of the 14 Arkansas K-12 public school districts that earned a failing (F) grade in a recent Policy Foundation survey have college remediation rates (2007) greater than 70 percent, according to the National Office for Research, Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES). The state rate is 48.1 percent.

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Arkansas School District Rankings (2007)

(September 2008)
Arkansas school districts receiving A, B, C, D and F grades in the Policy Foundation's third annual School District Rankings are identified in the following nine-page chart.

State of Remediation

(September 2008)
Two Arkansas school districts awarded failing (F) grades for three consecutive years in Policy Foundation reports have college remediation rates greater than 70 percent, public records show.

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Arkansas 2006-2007 School District Rankings

(August 2008)
Eighteen K-12 public school districts in Arkansas earned the top grade (A or A-minus) in the Policy Foundation’s third annual School District Rankings study. Fourteen districts received a failing grade of F in the report, which relies on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) to issue a letter grade to every Arkansas district.

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Teacher Merit Pay Advances In Two Arkansas School Districts

(July 2008)
Teachers in two Arkansas school districts—Cross County and Lincoln—will participate in merit pay programs in the upcoming 2008-09 school year. The programs will be based in part on student performance, including grades and test scores on a standardized state test.

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The Odds On State Lotteries

(July 2008)
The odds of winning games of chance in three government lotteries in the region (Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee) vary widely.

Instant games appear to provide the lowest odds. Online games of chance and draw-style games offer higher odds.

Louisiana: http://www.louisianalottery.com/index.cfm?navID=93&md=game&tmp=detail_drawing&gameID=5

Missouri: http://www.molottery.com

Tennessee: http://www.tnlottery.com/howtoplay

NEA Membership Declined In Arkansas In 2007

(June 2008)
The National Education Association (NEA), the largest government-sector labor union in the United States, lost members in Arkansas in 2007, records show.

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Arkansas Government's Holy Grail—The Quest for 100% Income Parity

(June 2008)
A long-stated goal of Arkansas state government officials is achieving 100 percent parity with the U.S. average in terms of per capita personal income (Bureau of Economic Analysis).

Government economic development officials have led this quest, which at times as appeared similar to the search for the Holy Grail. That is to say, elusive.

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The Biggest Middle Class Tax Cut In Arkansas History

(May 2008)
Individual income tax brackets, in response to inflation should be retroactively indexed to the Consumer Price Index as part of a multi-year plan that would reduce the tax burden on Arkansas's middle class, and provide further reductions in the state grocery tax.

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AETN Public TV Forum

(April 2008)
Economists from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the Univ. of Arkansas and the Policy Foundation participated in a recent forum on the Arkansas economy that aired statewide on public television (AETN). The monthly show, ‘Unconventional Wisdom,’ is hosted by Stephens News Bureau columnist David Sanders, and can be viewed at:

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Arkansas Employment Growth Trails U.S. For Fourth Consecutive Year

(April 2008)
Arkansas employment growth trailed the U.S. in 2007, the fourth consecutive year that job creation in the Natural State failed to equal or exceed the national average, federal economic data show.

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Dynamic Analysis & the Severance Tax Hike

(March 24, 2008)
National gas, like other commodities, increases and decreases in price in response to market forces. Commodity price movements are cyclical. The state estimate of projected revenues from a proposed 5 percent severance rate is based on an $8 natural gas price. Policymakers should understand a lower price would effect revenues.

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Record Number of Charter Schools to Operate in Arkansas in 2008-2009 School Year

(February 2008)
Twenty-six charter schools, a record number, are scheduled to operate in Arkansas in the 2008-2009 school year.

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Education Reform Forum In Conway On Feb. 20

(January 2008)
Education reform will be the topic of a Policy Foundation forum Feb. 20 at the Univ. of Central Arkansas in Conway. The forum, which will feature UCA President Lu Hardin and academics Roy Whitehead, Jr., and Walter Block1, will occur from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the the ballroom of the UCA Student Center.

We are trying to organize support for our Feb. 20 event.

Visit http://arkansaseconomics.org/ for more archived policy research articles.

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
Read Online

'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.
Read Online