States Leading Recovery

Spotlight: Arkansas

Grantee: Arkansas Department of Education


Fast facts

Tutoring Focus

(i.e., gradespan & content area)

K-5 reading

Tutoring Provider



Selected Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

Hot Springs School District

Jacksonville School District

Jonesboro School District

West Memphis School District

Delivery Model

Both in-person and virtual

Using funds from States Leading Recovery, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will provide reading tutoring to students in grades K-5. The state is building on a strong foundation, including comprehensive legislation that supports student literacy and requires a statewide tutoring effort, and early efforts to establish a tutoring corps. In the upcoming year, ADE will provide more intensive support, guidance, and funding for districts to build and launch effective tutoring programs.


Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed the LEARNS Act (SB 294) into law in March 2023. This provided a renewed emphasis on the importance of tutoring in Arkansas. The act includes provisions for the state to provide grants for parents to obtain tutoring assistance for struggling students. In the coming months, Arkansas will develop a list of vetted tutoring providers and identify districts interested in partnering with these providers. It is anticipated that tutoring services will begin in October 2023.

Arkansas’ efforts to promote high-impact tutoring began with the development of the Arkansas Tutoring Corps in 2021 to serve the academic needs of students across the state. The Tutoring Corps vets and trains applicants to serve as tutors, and then connects the bank of prepared candidates with districts and community organizations seeking to hire tutors.

After a full year of implementation, the program had 400 qualified tutors including 152 active high school student tutors. So far the Arkansas Tutoring Corp has seen success with recruitment and training of potential tutors including ongoing monthly support for active tutors, curriculum training aligned with the Science of Reading, and the recent addition of high school students as tutors.

LEARNS Act Information

Arkansas’ tutoring efforts are reinforced by the state’s broader commitment to literacy.

The LEARNS Act includes a number of efforts related to assessments, standards, and interventions:

  • Deploying literacy coaches in struggling schools across the state;
  • Requiring high-quality literacy screeners for every student in grades K-3 and providing for districts to communicate the results to families and to the state;
  • Offering $500 per eligible student per school year to pay for approved supplemental education services designed to improve reading or literacy skills, with priority given to students who are to be retained in third grade; and,
  • Providing essential supports to students to raise reading proficiency so students are reading at or above grade level by Grade 3.


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