November 21, 2002
Posted at: 9:51 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas' education director said Tuesday that the state could have a plan in place within eight months to provide equal educational opportunities for Arkansas' 450,000 school children.
Ray Simon said the state could then begin implementing major school reforms in July 2004. The timetable would meet the mandate of a state Supreme Court decision last week that declared Arkansas' school funding formula unconstitutional. Simon made the comments to legislators reviewing the proposed education budget for the next two years.
The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a lower court decision that public education funding is distributed unfairly and is inadequate to provide equal educational opportunities for all students. The justices gave the state until January 1, 2004, to fashion remedies.