Governor Mike Beebe will seek Legislative approval to spend $1.1 million in rainy-day funds to help pay for Arkansas Health Education Grants (ARHEG) for the upcoming school year. Dwindling fund balances have left the Arkansas Department of Higher Education with enough money to continue existing ARHEG financial aid, but would otherwise force a reduction in new awards to incoming students.
"This rainy-day money will help more students pursue their professional training, but it is only a one-year solution," Governor Beebe said. "The Legislature will have to make funding decisions for the next three years of these students' grants, and whether money will be available to maintain ARHEG financial aid in the future."
The ARHEG program helps students pay out-of-state tuition for medical programs not offered at Arkansas institutions, including veterinary medicine, dentistry and optometry.
Governor Beebe is expected to 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.