LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 150 schools in Arkansas will be awarded a total of nearly $7 million for student academic success through the Arkansas School Recognition Program.

According to a Friday announcement from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, the program will award $6,871,250 to 159 public schools throughout the state.

Officials from the ADE said that the program recognizes the top 10% of schools that achieve high student performance on the state-required assessments in grades 3 through 10.

The awards that were announced Friday are based on test results from the 2020-2021 school year and graduation rates from the 2019-2020 school year, according to officials.

Education Secretary Johnny Key said that schools in the state were able to overcome the challenging affects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the school system.

“In spite of the pandemic, many Arkansas schools still rose to the occasion and demonstrated growth and achievement,” Key said. “I am excited to recognize these 159 schools, and I commend them and their students for showing that learning can continue despite challenging circumstances.”

According to data from the ADE, 49 schools qualified for the categories of top 5% performance and top 5% growth category with a monetary reward of $100 per student.

ADE officials said the funds that are provided by the program can be used for faculty and staff bonuses, educational equipment, and resources to improve or maintain student performance.

Schools receiving recognition funds are also required to establish a committee to determine how the funds will be used.

The ADE has the complete list of schools and award amounts online. To learn more about the program, head to