Featured Articles

Arkansas Public School Debt Nearly Triples Since 2000

(December 2011) Outstanding loans and bonded indebtedness of Arkansas K-12 public school districts and educational service cooperatives has nearly tripled since 2000, increasing from $1.2 billion to $3.5 billion since 2000, public records show.


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Nationalized Medical Insurance Expansion Rejected by Arkansas Policymakers

(December 2011) Arkansas policymakers, pressed by fiscal conservatives have rejected an expansion of nationalized medical insurance by disbanding seven advisory groups seeking to establish a state-operated health exchange.


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Arkansas Payroll Employment Declines Since Launch of Quick-Action Closing Fund

(November 30, 2011) Arkansas payroll employment is lower than in July 2007 when the “Economic Development Incentive Quick-Action Closing Fund” championed by Gov. Mike Beebe and state legislators took effect. Total Arkansas payroll employment was 1,202,000 in July 2007, and 1,170,400 in October 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Quick-Action Closing Fund took effect nearly four-and-a-half years ago on July 1, 2007.


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Arkansas has Highest Income Tax Rate Among Border States

(November 2011) Arkansas still has the highest income tax rate among states that border it, according to 2011 data compiled by the Federation of State Tax Administrators. The group has published a chart that shows Arkansas has a top rate of 7 percent. The chart can be viewed at:


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State Issues Numerical Grades to Schools

(October 3, 2011) Five Arkansas school districts that earned the top ‘A’ grade in four annual Policy Foundation studies also receive the highest mark in the first state report required under a 2003 accountability law. But three districts that received ‘F’ grades from the Foundation earned marks from the state high enough to preclude students and parents from using the public school choice option included in the 2003 measure.


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Most Charters Excel, Four Approach Alert

(October 1, 2011) Most Arkansas charters meet or exceed standards in a state report that assigns a numerical grade to K-12 public schools but four are named as “approaching the standards alert” set by PA 35 of 2003.


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Little Rock Has Half of Failing Schools
In State Education Report

(October 1, 2011) The Little Rock School District, the state’s largest, has half of the failing schools in the first state education report required by a 2003 law that requires a numerical grade for Arkansas K-12 public schools.


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Municipal Broadband: A Cautionary Tale

(September 2011) The municipal government claimed its plan would expand broadband, a telecommunications process providing greater bandwidth. The idea was to provide universal coverage to all residents.


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Weak Recovery

(September 2, 2011) Today’s monthly BLS report noting zero employment growth last month provides further evidence that the economy remains mired in a weak recovery.


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Report: Advancing Virtual Education in Arkansas:
Savings, Opportunity and Achievement

(Summer 2011) The issues of statewide student access, input-focused regulation, output-based regulation and opportunities for cost savings must be addressed to advance virtual education in Arkansas.


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Discuss Dr. Milton Friedman's Education Reforms
at July 29 Forum in Conway

(July 2011) The education reform ideas of Dr. Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the 1976 Nobel Economics laureate will be the topic of a July 29 forum hosted by the Policy Foundation at the Faulkner County Library (1900 Tyler) in Conway.


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Few Employment Sectors Growing

(July 15, 2011) U.S. and Arkansas payroll employment has increased slightly since the recession’s end two years ago, though few sectors are growing.


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Manufacturing Losses Lead to Weakest
Postwar Employment Growth

(July 2011) Total national payroll employment growth in the current and preceding expansion are the weakest in the postwar era due to Manufacturing losses that started under former President Bill Clinton.


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Government Estimate Overstates Pre-Existing Conditions

(May 2011) One year ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated “the creation of a national high-risk insurance pool will result in roughly 375,000 people gaining coverage in 2010, increasing national health spending by $4 billion.” But the number of enrollees totaled only 12,437 on Feb. 1, including only 147 in Arkansas.


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The number of enrollees nationwide was 18,313 as of March 31, including 198 in Arkansas.


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The Little Rock School District Faces The Same Problems It Did In 2000

(May 2011) Eleven years ago this month the Policy Foundation published a report on the Little Rock School District that found “10 years of rising revenues and declining student academic achievement.” The trend continues with LRSD expenditures greater than inflation and personal income growth rates and some standardized test score results less than 50 percent of national norms.


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Foundation Education Reforms Approved by Policymakers

(April 2011) Policy Foundation education reform recommendations that date to the 1998 Murphy Commission were approved by the General Assembly in the recently-concluded session and signed into law by the governor. They include expansion of charter schools, a broader school choice policy, and a measure to allow more children and parents to take advantage of Arkansas virtual education.


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Arkansas Medicaid Costs Triple Since Mid-1990s

(March 2011) Arkansas Medicaid program costs have tripled since 1996, increasing from $1.3 billion to $4.1 billion (2010), with an increase of another $416 million projected for 2011.


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Charter Schools are Safer

(March 14, 2011) Students and teachers at Arkansas charter schools are less likely to face weapons incidents and assaults than their counterparts at traditional public schools, according to a Policy Foundation analysis of 2009 school performance report cards.


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2009-2010 School District Rankings Status: Pending

(February 2011) The status of Arkansas’ first formal government report to issue grades to districts based on performance is “pending,” according to education officials but the document is expected to be released later this year.


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A Capital Gains Tax Cut Creates Jobs

(February 2011) Legislative branch action to freeze part of Gov. Mike Beebe’s proposed $109 million spending increase for FY 2012 creates the policy option of a capital gains tax cut to generate jobs creation in a weak labor market.


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Budget Alternative: 2011-2013 Biennium

(January 2011) Funding for core Arkansas government functions—education, corrections and transportation—could occur at slightly increased rates while other operations are frozen at current levels, providing $31 million in savings to cut state income, capital gains and grocery tax rates.


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Mission Statement

The Arkansas Policy Foundation is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that analyzes the impact of public policy on Arkansas and makes recommendations.

The Foundation emphasizes the importance of tax policy and education reform.

Principles of tax policy: Arkansas would benefit from comprehensive, pro-growth reform; Arkansans are not under-taxed; taxes and rates do matter to entrepreneurs; dynamic scoring of tax changes and effects provides benefits.

Education reform: The Foundation seeks intellectual honesty and complete openness in reporting the lack of academic progress in Arkansas' school system.

The Foundation encourages citizenship.

Governor Mike Beebe Governor Mike Huckabee


Looking For Archived Policy Research?


Socialism Doesn't Work

Friedrich A. Hayek taught at the Univ. of Arkansas-Fayetteville in the early 1950s. He was awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics. His insight? Socialism doesn't work due to the lack of a price system.

Visibility: Media Highlights

"Hundreds in Legal Discourse on Health Care"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

March 28, 2012


"Skyscrapers and the Alabama Economy"

Birmingham Business Journal

February 17, 2012


"As National Manufacturing Rebounds, Arkansas Offers A Different Picture"

Talk Business

February 14, 2012


"Helping Low Income Arkansans Keep More of the Money They Earn"


January 23, 2012


"Ratings system grades schools"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Benton County Daily Record

Northwest Arkansas Times

January 22, 2012


"Arkansas' Largest Trading Partner"

Arkansas Business Weekly

January 16, 2012


"State At Disadvantage"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

January 5, 2012


Best Books

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

December 18, 2011



Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

December 5, 2011


"State recovery seen beating '01 rally"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Benton County Daily Record

November 11, 2011


“Manufacturing Jobs Reach State, National Lows”

Talk Business, City Wire

September 18, 2011


“U.S. GDP up Just 1% In Second Quarter”

Talk Business

August 26, 2011


"The power of ideas"

(Op-ed on Milton & Rose Friedman)

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

July 29, 2011


"Arkansas jobless rate highest in 24 years"

Talk Business

July 22, 2011


"Trenches tough, home tougher"

Pine Bluff Commercial

June 23, 2011


"State jobless rate rised to 7.8 percent"

Van Buren County Democrat


"Unemployment rises to 7.8 percent"

Greenwood Democrat

June 22, 2011


"State unemployment rises to 7.8 percent'

Jacksonville Patriot


Hot Springs on the go!

(June/July 2011)


"State unemployment climbs as hiring slows"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

June 18, 2011


"Unemployment Up, Employment Slides in May"

Talk Business

June 17, 2011


"State's Per Capita Income Improves"

Arkansas Business

June 13, 2011


"Decentralize district: An unconventional solution"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


June 6, 2011


"APF director to discuss education at GWG"

Hot Springs Sentinel-Record

May 10, 2011


"A major victory: for poorest citizens"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

April 19, 2011


"Let the best compete"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

April 1, 2011


"Beautiful losers"

March 27, 2011


"State personal income growth jumps 3.5% in 2010"

City Wire

March 23, 2011


"Arkansas personal income grows but skips in ranking"

Talk Business

March 23, 2011


"Winning The Economic Game"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

February 6, 2011


"Stephens: Woo ailing states? firms"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas News

January 14, 2011


"Snyder: We've got to think, act positive"

Detroit Free Press

December 30, 2010


"Fort Smith area running low on publicly held companies"

City Wire

December 8, 2010


"Arkansas Policy Foundation Recommends Tax, Spending Cuts"

Talk Business

November 17, 2010


"Policy Foundation recommends tax, spending cut policies"

City Wire

November 16, 2010


"What Now?"

Arkansas Business

October 4-10, 2010


"Official end to recession declared, but Arkansans still uncertain"

Talk Business

September 21, 2010


"NBER: U.S. recession ended June 2009"

City Wire

September 20, 2010


"Answering the call on jobs, says Beebe"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

September 5, 2010


"Scarce equity capital means fewer jobs"

Investors' Business Daily

September 2, 2010


"Arkansas Unemployment In July Falls to 7.4%"

Talk Business

August 20, 2010


"Study: Better Schools Have Fewer Discipline Problems"

Times Record (Fort Smith)

August 18, 2010


"Get A Government Job"

Arkansas Trucking Report

August 2010


"State jobless rate falls to 7.5% in June"

City Wire (Fort Smith)

July 20, 2010


"Economy watchers say 'double-dip

recession' unlikely"

City Wire (Fort Smith)

July 15, 2010


"Fort Smith metro jobless rate drops below 8%"

City Wire (Fort Smith)

June 2, 2010


"State roads meeting draws few"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

May 20, 2010


"Most Arkansans don't think economy

is on the right track"

Russellville Courier

May 8, 2010


"Poll: Economy Rough,

Most Arkansans Don't

Like Steps Taken By Obama"

Times-Record (Fort Smith)

May 8, 2010


"State Roads Meeting Draws Few"
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 20, 2010

"Speaker Sees Education 'Crisis'"
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 5, 2010

"Area at top of new PCPI list"
El Dorado News-Times
May 3, 2010

"Virtual Ed Enrollment Cap Faces Greater Scrutiny"
Education Week
April 28, 2010

"Conference keys on Virtual Education"
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
April 25, 2010

"Deconstructing neo-liberal ideas"
Washington Times
March 30, 2010

"State's 7.7% jobless rate highest since June 1988"
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Northwest Arkansas Times
Benton County Daily Record
March 27, 2010

"'09 personal income in state down 0.2%"
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Northwest Arkansas Times
Benton County Daily Record
March 26, 2010

"Some relevant reading"
Mike Masterson column
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Northwest Arkansas Times
Benton County Daily Record
March 14, 2010

"Growing Government Employment"
Talk Business
March 12, 2010

"Poll: Arkansans think economy
headed in wrong direction"
Log Cabin Democrat (Conway)
Times-Record (Fort Smith)
Commercial (Pine Bluff)
Courier (Russellville)
January 24, 2010

2009 Media Highlights

2008 Media Highlights

Policy Accomplishments

Following is a list of policy accomplishments recorded by the Arkansas Policy Foundation in its 17-year history as a market-based think tank: Click Here.

Arkansas Policy Blog

Click here to view the Arkansas Policy Blog.

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

"Wolverines, Razorbacks and Skyscrapers"

Transaction Periodicals Consortium,

Rutgers University

Winter 2010

'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

Non-Profit Resources
(Including Form 990s)