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Public Policy Advocacy Archives

USDA amends rule regarding farm program eligibility

Farming operations, through managers, are able to apply for federal benefits under federal programs to assist in their operations (sometimes termed "safety-net payments"). The managers, to qualify, must be actively engaged in the farming operation. Programs include Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Loan Deficiency Payments, and Marketing Loan Gains realized via the Marketing Assistance Loan Program. Since 1987, the rules pertaining to eligibility have been capacious, allowing a wide net of individuals to be eligible for the benefits under the broad definition of "actively engaged".

Access to Justice in Rural Arkansas

Rural Arkansas-blog.jpgRecently the William H. Bowen School of Law hosted a symposium dealing with the issue of access to justice. It was a wonderful symposium with the support of even better people. One area of concern the symposium focused on was access to justice in rural Arkansas. It is no secret that in the past few decades rural communities have decreased in population, while urban areas have continued to increase. As the rural population decreases, the number of attorneys available to represent people (the attorney per capita ratio) decreases also. In rural Arkansas the attorney per capita ratio is much lower than urban Arkansas. This lower ratio makes it hard for low to middle income people in rural areas to have access to legal representation.

State Board Does Have Power To Take Over LRSD

State Board-blog.jpgStudents in six schools in the Little Rock School District have had scandalously low academic performance for years. Since 2013 these schools have qualified as in academic distress. The State Board of Education is considering what to do about them. One of the options is for the State Board to take control of the entire LRSD, dismiss the superintendent, and dismiss the school board (a process called reconstitution). LRSD's lawyers have argued to the State Board that the law does not allow this option. Let's take a look.

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