Document Type


Publication Date



fiscal distress list, academic distress list

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 08 Issue 07


Two types of state takeovers have been in the news this summer. The news extensively covered the state takeover of Helena-West Helena School District and Pulaski County Special School District due to fiscal issues. At their August meeting, State Board of Education members discussed amending the Academic Distress Rules in a manner that would more easily enable state takeovers on the basis of academic distress. This policy brief discusses the various classifications that might lead to a state takeover and the subsequent implications of such classifications. According to Arkansas law, namely The Omnibus Quality of Education Act of 2003, schools can be taken over by the state after being on one of two lists: a fiscal distress list or an academic distress list. 1 In both instances, state takeover will usually only happen after the district follows two years of protocol and procedures recently established by the Arkansas State Board of Education.