Spending Cap Introduced for School Districts

February 14, 2003
Posted at: 9:20 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The authority of local school boards to authorize spending on all costs from building repairs to personnel would be limited under legislation filed Friday.

The sponsor, Representative Jodie Mahony of El Dorado, says he wants to make sure school districts don't try to make it harder for the state to do its job of ensuring that school students get an adequate and equal educational opportunity.

The state has until January 1, 2004 to come up with a plan to fix its public education system.

Among other things, Mahony's bill would prohibit school boards from entering contracts of more than $5,000 for buying, selling or improving school buildings without first getting state Education Board approval. The restriction only applies, though, to building contracts before July 1, 2004.

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