Providing a reasonable education for all students in Arkansas is a legal responsibility explicitly mandated by the state’s constitution. Consistent with the long-standing American tradition of “grassroots” control of education, public schools in all states are funded and managed first and foremost at the local level. The federal government can and does enact legislation with which schools must conform. Directly or indirectly, federal mandates provide significant amounts of monies to support particular types of school services and programming. But ultimate responsibility for financing and operating schools devolves on state government. In Arkansas, it has been held, the state must provide “a general, suitable, and efficient system of free public schools” (Lakeview v. Huckabee, 2001).
Barnett, Joshua H.; Ritter, Gary W.; and Lucas, Christopher J., "Does Size Matter? School Consolidation Policy Issues in Arkansas" (2004). Arkansas Education Reports. 52.