Huckabee: Schools to Play Under Same Rules

December 12, 2002
Posted at: 10:35 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Governor Huckabee envisions public education being run more like sports programs under the mandates of a court decision requiring equity and adequacy in public schools.

Like athletic fields, Huckabee says academics as public schools will now all be played according to the same dimensions. The governor says the distance to success will be the same from one school to the next. Huckabee made his analogy Thursday before hundreds of school board members from around the state attending their annual meeting in Little Rock.

Huckabee also told the school board members to expect a change in the management of schools under a recent state Supreme Court ruling that said the state is ultimately responsible for the quality of education children get public schools. The governor says it will take more money to meet the court mandate to provide equal educational opportunities for all of the state's 450 thousand public school children.

But Huckabee says school districts should not expect equal amounts of the new money that will be poured into public education. He says some districts will not get much more money while others will see dramatic increases to address the special needs of children. However, Huckabee says money alone will not ensure a quality education for many children who's parents are not involved enough in the process.

The governor raised the prospect of tax credits or other incentives for parents who become more involved in their local schools.

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