Arkansas Child Academic Opportunity Scholarship and Grant Act FAQ

The Child Academic Opportunity Scholarship and Grant Act creates new opportunities for Arkansas to harness the power of private philanthropy to improve educational opportunities for low-income and at-risk students.

The act creates a new dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit program for individuals and businesses that contribute toward either flexible private-school scholarship accounts or grants for public schools serving predominantly low-income populations of students.

Public School Frequently Asked Questions

If enacted, taxpayers could begin contributing toward Academic Opportunity grants in January 2022.

In its first year, the program allows for up to $10 million in state income tax credits. Of this total amount, $6 million is reserved for public-school grants and $4 million is reserved for private-school scholarship accounts.

Both these credit caps are subject to their own “escalator clauses.” If 90 percent of either cap is fundraised in a given fiscal year, the cap will automatically grow by 25 percent in the following fiscal year. For example, if $5.4 million is raised against the $6 million public-school cap, that cap would automatically grow to $7.5 million in the following fiscal year.

There is no maximum grant size. As with many other grant programs, grant-makers—designated student support organizations (SSOs), in this case—have the flexibility to determine grant sizes and terms based on specific needs.

Public schools can use grants for a wide variety of educational expenses, including:

  • Technology enhancements like wireless access points, computers, or tablets
  • Building upgrades for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or roof repairs
  • Remote learning intervention platform technology
  • Social and emotional well-being programming for students and parents
  • Professional development for staff working with diverse populations
  • Sensory rooms and equipment for special education services
  • Funding for economically disadvantaged public school student populations

Private School Frequently Asked Questions

If enacted, taxpayers could begin contributing toward the Opportunity Scholarship Program in January 2022.

In its first year, the program allows for up to $10 million in state income tax credits. Of this total amount, $6 million is reserved for public-school grants and $4 million is reserved for private-school scholarship accounts.

Both these credit caps are subject to their own “escalator clauses.” If 90 percent of either cap is fundraised in a given fiscal year, the cap will automatically grow by 25 percent in the following fiscal year. For example, if $3.6 million is raised against the $4 million private-school cap, that cap would automatically grow to $5 million in the following fiscal year.

Scholarships are capped at 100 percent of the per-student foundation funding amount determined annually by the state. In 2020-2021, this amount is approximately $7,000. This amount would be made available to families in equal quarterly increments throughout the school year.

Families can use scholarship accounts for a wide variety of educational expenses, including:

  • Tuition and fees at an approved private school
  • Courses in local public schools
  • Educational course materials like textbooks
  • Tutoring services
  • Testing fees for college-placement exams, industry certifications, or other assessments
  • Fees for academically focused after-school or summer educational programs
  • Tuition, fees, or materials at institutions at in-state or out-of-state institutions of higher education if students are dual-enrolled in high school and a postsecondary school


Back to School Parent Survey - Fall 2020

This survey closes on Wednesday, August 5th at 6pm cst.


2020 Graduations and Resources


Teachers Support School Choice, too!

Page three of “Education Matters,” a publication of the Association of American Educators Foundation, highlights the staggering results of their survey that shows teachers strongly support school choice for students.


Arkansans overwhelmingly support education options to empower families!

The Reform Alliance conducted an extensive survey for the citizens of Arkansas. Use the interactive tool below to see the results of this poll and find out what Arkansans really think on the issue!