I would rather send my kid to school in the poorest Ozark school than almost any inner-city shithole school in America.
Actually, in northern AR, there are some VERY wealthy communities up there, due mostly in part to the Walmart Walton family. There are multi-million dollar homes, and an airport, I believe, was put in just for all the business that is done up there....with industry folks coming in up there to try to get Walmart to carry their goods, etc.
So, with that kinda money, the school system up there doesn't hurt at all.
But, as for the rest of the state, overall, the public school system there is decent, and there are plenty of private schools that excel there too.
If you have a picture of barefoot, Hillbillies all over Arkansas, you have a pretty poor picture of the whole state. There is a LOT of wealth in that state, hell, Little Rock has more damned banks per square foot than most any place I've ever lived. You had the Steven's corp. there too, there is a lot of money that flows through that state, it is a fairly well kept secret from most of the US I'm guessing.