Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Classified Employee Minimum Hourly Wage for 2019-2020

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
A.C.A. ยง 6-17-2203
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Principals; General Business Managers

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Memo Text


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:


CPI data used for the percentage increase calculation is found at  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 2.28% (.0228) from the twelve-month average of May 2017 through April 2018 to the twelve-month average of May 2018 through April 2019.  The minimum hourly rate for the 2018-2019 school year was $8.64.  The established increase for 2019-2020 is 2.28% or $0.20 per hour, which results in the new minimum rate of $8.84 per hour. 


For more information on the CPI, go to the following website:   If you cannot click on the above links, copy and paste the URLs into the Internet browser address bar.


The new classified employee minimum wage calculated for school year 2019-2020 is $8.84 per hour.  Arkansas Issue 5 increases the Arkansas minimum wage to $11.00 per hour by January 1, 2021.  The current required Arkansas rate is $9.25 per hour and is increased to $10.00 effective January 1, 2020.  Because the state rates are more than the calculated CPI rate, use the required Arkansas hourly rates for 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 (20) or more hours per week for the public school district.


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