A $36.2 million cut from the Arkansas Public School Fund budget will not directly impact Conway’s schools, according to Superintendent Greg Murry.

“This will not directly affect us, as I can see right now. The stream of funding we get has not been cut for either this year or next year,” Murry said. “I don’t think there will be a major impact at the local school level.”

Julie Johnson Thompson, director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Education said the large budget cut has been scaled down. An original total of $44 million was offset by $7 million in the reserve fund. 

Thompson said development in the standardized test program has been put on hold, giving more leeway and delaying the expense of developing a new end-of-course test for language arts.
A funding program for schools with increased growth has been cut, realizing a $20 million savings. Thompson said this program, based on projected growth and estimation, would be cut because schools did not see as much growth as originally expected.
The Arkansas Public School Computer Network expenditures for the year have been delayed as well. Upgrades have been postponed, saving $3.3 million.

“They won’t feel it on a local, direct level. But schools may have been able to take advantage of things that will not be there,” Thompson said. “The effects on the school will be minimal.”