Thanks largely to a tenacious education campaign and petition drive initiated by David Bailin and other parents of Arkansas college graduates, Gov. Beebe has agreed to seek legislative approval to transfer $1.1 million in rainy-day funds to the Higher Education department to help the students pay out-of-state tuition at dentistry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic, osteopathic medicine and optometry schools. The legislature cut the funding to the bone in the last session; the Arkansas Health Education Grants have been awarded to students doing graduate work in those areas because the programs are not offered in Arkansas.
The Times wrote about the cuts in May.
In a press release issued
by the parents KARK, Beebe is quoted as saying the money is “only a one-year solution,” and that the legislature will have to decide on funding for the next three years of the Arkansas Health Education Grants for these students and the future of the aid overall.
Beebe will submit the formal request to the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Peer Review Committee on July 11, the group’s first meeting of the upcoming fiscal year.