Arkansas offers families limited school choice options. The state does not offer private school choice options.
Public School Choice:
Arkansas offers public school choice through intra-district and inter-district open enrollment policies. Students can enroll in any public school throughout the state as long as there is availability.
Private School Choice:
Arkansas does not offer private school choice.
Arkansas has a charter school law, but according to the Center for Education Reform, it is considered weak because only the state board of education can authorize charter schools. This need to receive prior approval makes it very challenging for charter schools to open and expand. There are also other obstacles for charter schools in the state, including lack of government funding and a cap on the maximum number of charter schools that can be open. In 2013, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reported that about 12,000 students were enrolled in the state's 32 charter schools.
According to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, Arkansas runs a supplemental state-led program, the Arkansas Virtual High School (AVHS). AVHS is a statewide full-time charter school, the Arkansas Virtual Academy (AVA); and district programs. The Arkansas Distance Learning (ARDL) Consortium was formed in 2011 to provide content to any online school throughout the state. Any school district that wants to run courses through this state-funded provider pays an annual membership fee of $2,500.
<a href="http://www.schooldatadirect.org/app/location/q/stid=4/llid=111/stllid=177/locid=4/stype=/catid=-1/secid=-1/compid=-1/site=pes">Click here for detailed information</a> on Arkansas' public schools, and see below for school choice contacts and a detailed history of school choice in Arkansas.