State Board Announces Tougher Standards

June 9, 2003
Posted at: 4:12 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The state Board of Education is taking steps to implement tougher accountability standards for school districts across the state.

The board today voted to put out for public comment proposed new standards based on the only major school reform legislation passed by the General Assembly this year.

Together the new standards would allow the state to move in much more quickly to help or take over districts that do not meet academic and financial standards.

State education director Ray Simon says that means schools that do not adequately educate students or that are in financial trouble will no longer be allowed to languish for years without the state taking action.

The new rules would allow the state to take action after one year of trouble, but would require the state board to take a range of actions after two years.

Today's vote allows for at least 30 days of public comment. Simon plans to bring the regulations back for final approval in August.

The board also is to discuss the public education operating budget for fiscal 2004.

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