Batesville Area Chamber and ForwARd Arkansas celebrate new law using excess state lottery funds for scholarships
April 8, 2019
On Friday, leaders from the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and ForwARd Arkansas gathered in Independence County to celebrate their success in championing a new law, Act 456, the Arkansas Concurrent Challenge Scholarship. Co-sponsored by Sen. James Sturch (R), Act 456 will use excess Arkansas Lottery proceeds to fund scholarships that encourage high school students to obtain college credits and career training credentials.
“The passage of the concurrent credit scholarship was vitally important for students across our state to access the same opportunities,” said Sen. Sturch. “It will ultimately standardize what courses are taught, how they’re delivered and how much they cost.”
Act 456, which passed this legislative session, was inspired by a similar initiative “Independence Promise” created in Independence County and funded locally by generous donors and businesses last year.
“Independence Promise” was created as part of the IMPACT Independence County strategic community plan. In the first semester of the program launch, more than 150 Independence County high school students participated, earning a collective 648 hours of college credit and achieving a 94 percent course completion rate.