Consolidation Sponsor Heated at Child Letters

January 30, 2003
Posted at: 10:00 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Senate sponsor of Governor Huckabee's education-overhaul package is upset -- very upset.

Senator Jim Argue of Little Rock demanded Thursday to know who was responsible for a packet of handwritten letters he received. The letters from Jessieville second-graders pleaded with him: ``Don't tear down our school.''

Part of the plan Argue is sponsoring for Huckabee calls for consolidating the state's 310 school districts down to just 116 districts.

Argue said he was highly irritated with somebody in Jessieville. He accused those behind the letters of abusing their authority.

He warned that, as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, he would use the panel's subpoena powers to get to the bottom of it.

He called the letters manipulation of kids by self-serving adults. He said it should be clear that not a single elementary school is going to be closed.

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