The new classified employee minimum wage for school year 2017-2018 is $8.46 per hour. The code and calculations are explained below and an example of the calculation is attached. In previous years the state minimum wage has always been lower than the published classified hourly rate. Beginning January 1, 2017, the Arkansas minimum wage became $8.50 per hour. When issuing contracts use the required Arkansas rate of $8.50 because it is the higher rate when compared to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This $8.50 rate applies to full-time classified employees only. "Full-time classified employee" is defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-17-2202(2) as "any classified employee who works twenty (2) or more hours per week for the public school district.
Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-17-2203 requires school districts to increase the minimum hourly rate paid to full-time classified school employees by a percentage equal to the percentage increase of the minimum hourly rate paid to full-time classified school employees by a percentage equal to the percentage increase of the CPI. The result is the new minimum hourly rate to be paid to all full-time classified school employees. The legislation does not provide a specific source for the CPI data. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) recognizes the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website as a valid source of CPI data: http://www.bls.gov/.
CPI data used for the percentage increase calculation is found at http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?cw. Check the first box on the screen, which is labeled, "U.S. All items, 1982-84=100 - CWUR0000SA0," then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button labeled "Retrieve Data."
The data on this page was used to calculate that the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers increased by 1.53% (.0153) from the twelve-month average of May 2015 through April 2016 to the twelve-month average of May 2016 through April 2017. The minimum hourly rate for the 2016-2017 school year was $8.33. The established increase for 2017-2018 is 1.53% or $0.13 per hour, which results in the new minimum rate of $8.46 per hour.
For more information on the CPI, go to the following website:
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm. If you cannot click on the above links, copy and paste the URLs into the Internet browser address bar.