FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA)– Arkansas public schools could be seeing more federal money coming in after the House Education Committee approved House Bill 1688.

According to House Bill 1688, public schools will receive sixteen million five hundred thousand dollars for the continuing fiscal school year.

The lead sponsor of House Bill 1688 is Republican State Representative Brian Evans of the 68th District.

Evans says this bill is designed to change the foundation funding matrix for public schools.

“Which is the public school funding amounts bill also known as the Foundation Funding Matrix,” Evans said.

The Foundation Funding rate is divided into three parts: school-level salaries of teachers, school-level resources, and district-level resources.

“Overall, this equates to a 2.8% increase in the matrix for funding and that’s the second largest increase that I’ve seen over the last ten years,” Evans said.

While most lawmakers are on board with the bill, many like Republican State Representative DeAnn Vaught are wondering will this additional funding be enough.

“I worry that we’re going to really strap some of our schools by not sending back what I would consider to be adequate funding,” Vaught said.

House Bill 1688 also addresses employee health insurance programs, ALE funding, and additional technology resources.

The bill passed the Education House Committee on Thursday, March 30, 2023, and will now make its way to the Senate.