The first formal education program in Arkansas prisons was begun in 1968. The England School District started a night program at Tucker, and the Gould School District started a night program at Cummins. These were limited in their outreach, but they were a step in the right direction. These programs continued for several years.
In 1973 the General Assembly passed Act 279 which established a school district within the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). The purpose as stated in the act was to provide “elementary, secondary, and vocational-technical education to all persons incarcerated in the Department of Correction facilities who are not high school graduates, irrespective of age…” The Board of Corrections serves as the school board for the School District.