Act 1118 of 2017, which is set to become effective on August 1, 2017, amends provisions of the Arkansas code concerning concurrent credit. Students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch, based on eligibility under the National School Lunch Act, shall not be required to pay any of the costs up to a maximum of six credit hours of endorsed concurrent enrollment courses for courses that are taught: (i) on the grounds of the public school district in which the student is enrolled; and (ii) by a teacher employed by the public school district in which the student is enrolled.
An “endorsed concurrent enrollment” course means a college level course offered by an institution of higher education in this state, that upon completion would qualify for academic credit in both the institution of higher education and a public high school that:
- Is one (1) of the four (4) core areas of math, English, science, and social studies;
- Meets the requirements of Sections 10.00 – 10.06 of the
Arkansas Department of Education Rules for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Diploma Incentive Program And Rules Governing Advanced Placement Courses in the Four Core Areas in Arkansas High Schools with Guidelines for Endorsed Concurrent Enrollment Courses; and
- Is listed in the Arkansas Course Transfer System of the Department of Higher Education.
For eligible students, the costs for endorsed concurrent enrollment courses for meeting these criteria shall be paid:
- By the public school district in which the student is enrolled;
- By the institution of higher education offering the course; or
- Through a cost-sharing agreement between the public school district and the institution of higher education.
Schools that are participating in alternative provisions to the normal requirements for annual determinations of eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals, such as
Provision 2 or the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), must use an income verification form and USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines to determine individual student eligibility. An income verification form and 2017-18 Income Eligibility Guidelines are attached to this memo.
Cost-sharing arrangements are developed through a formal agreement between the individual institution of higher education and school district. Districts should review current agreements and update policies, if necessary, to ensure compliance with Act 1118 of 2017. Information shared between public school districts and institutions of higher education must be in compliance with all state and federal laws, rules and regulations.