More empty gestures from the Arkansas government — a requirement for a minimum number of school nurses.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in an opinion today that while state accreditation rules might specify certain numbers of school nurses according to size of school districts and numbers of disabled students, those ratios are triggered only on “the availability of state funds.”


Said Rutledge: ” In my opinion, funding is not currently ‘available,’ as contemplated by section 6-18-706.”

The opinion was requested by Republican Rep. Julie Mayberry of Hensley, who has advocated more school nurses.


Rutledge’s said there is no categorical funding for nurses. The general funding portion of state school money is spent at the discretion of the districts and doesn’t fall under the definition of “available” money mentioned in the nurse ratio statute, Rutledge said.

The accreditation standards require one nurse per 750 students or 1 per 400 if there’s a high concentration of disabled students.


Yet another unmet need to remember when the governor goes to cutting taxes some more next year, after first diverting money that once was available for schools and other agencies to highways.