April 16, 2003
Posted at: 4:39 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Legislators approved an education standards bill Thursday that would grant the state Board of Education tough new powers to close or annex underperforming schools.
The measure is now awaiting final approval by Governor Mike Huckabee. It could become the only significant education reform bill to become law before legislators return in September.
The bill by Republican Representative Mary Beth Green of Van Buren would allow the state to intervene more quickly when schools are listed in fiscal or academic distress.
It also would strengthen standardized testing requirements. The measure was approved by the Senate Education Committee this morning and passed the Senate Thursday afternoon after senators agreed to suspend their rules and consider the last-minute bill.