Legislative Overview: Huckabee Plan - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

84th General Assembly

Legislative Overview: Huckabee Plan

January 13, 2003
Posted at: 10:35 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Governor Huckabee plans to announce a groundbreaking education restructuring plan next week as legislators prepare to start a session that will focus on the issue.

Earlier this week, Governor Huckabee said in a speech to school administrators that the court-mandate means a fundamental shift in authority over public education from local districts to the state.

The Arkansas Supreme Court gave the Legislature a deadline of next January First to fix an education funding system that it found as inadequate and unconstitutional. Experts estimate that could cost the state up to $1 billion a year. That's a huge cost for an economically distressed state where education already accounts for roughly one-half of the annual budget.

Legislators are discussing possibly consolidating schools, increasing taxes and cutting budgets to make up the money.

However first many legislators want to see results of a Supreme Court ordered study measuring the adequacy of education before backing a specific funding plan. Education leaders have said the study will take about six months, which means a special legislative session may be necessary to resolve the education dilemma.

Incoming House Speaker Herschel Cleveland said that completing the study will be one of the first orders of business in the House. 

The governor has indicated that his proposed restructuring could include consolidation, a controversial issue in many areas of the state.

Cleveland is against consolidation, saying it would hard for a lot of students because of the travel. Huckabee also has proposed a five-eights-cent state sales tax increase that would distribute $474 million over two years.

But opponents say raising the sales tax isn't the answer to Arkansas deep-rooted education woes. Some legislators say they don't sense any support for a tax increase.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Trump promising huge tax cut; focus on taxes vs health care

    Trump promising huge tax cut; focus on taxes vs health care

    Sunday, September 24 2017 12:07 PM EDT2017-09-24 16:07:01 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 1:37 AM EDT2017-09-25 05:37:48 GMT
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a Republican tax overhaul plan expected to come out this week will offer help for the middle class and businesses.
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a Republican tax overhaul plan expected to come out this week will offer help for the middle class and businesses.
  • Bald Knob school closed Monday after water line break

    Bald Knob school closed Monday after water line break

    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:14 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:14:56 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:16 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:16:44 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    The Bald Knob School District will not have classes Monday due to a main water line break in the city.

    The Bald Knob School District will not have classes Monday due to a main water line break in the city.

  • JPD investigates gun theft

    JPD investigates gun theft

    Sunday, September 24 2017 5:59 PM EDT2017-09-24 21:59:43 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 7:22 PM EDT2017-09-24 23:22:12 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Jonesboro police are looking for the person who teed off on a truck window, stealing a gun in the process, police said Sunday. 

    Jonesboro police are looking for the person who teed off on a truck window, stealing a gun in the process, police said Sunday. 

Powered by Frankly