School districts that have met the needs of students for whom special needs categorical funding is provided may use remaining or excess national school lunch state categorical funds (NSL) as a bonus to supplement the salaries of classroom teachers (bonus) upon approval of the Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education (Commissioner).
NSL funds may only be used as a non-recurring bonus and shall not be considered a permanent obligation of the school district.
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-20-2301 et seq., and Section 6.11 of the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing the Distribution of Student Special Needs Funding and the Determination of Allowable Expenditures of Those Funds, May 2016 (Rules), contains the requirements a school district must meet in order to use excess NSL funds as a bonus. No school district shall use NSL funds to pay a bonus without first obtaining written approval of the Commissioner.
Any district that intends to use excess NSL funds as a bonus in the current school year must complete the attached form and submit it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by FEBRUARY 15, 2019. The Department will conduct a review of the district’s most recent assessment data and other indicators to determine if the district is meeting the educational needs of students.