June 26, 2003 - Posted at: 10:20 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Governor Huckabee says rural residents don't have to like a court order to overhaul public education but do have to comply.
Any plan to reform education in the state will likely involve at least some school consolidation, a move opposed by many who live in rural communities.
Legislators are scheduled to return to the Capitol in September for a special session on education. They failed to find solutions to the state's education woes during the regular session, which ended in April.
Huckabee says he hopes the session will be a success. But legislators from rural areas and other small-school advocates say they see little hope for compromise when the Legislature reconvenes.
During the regular session, rural legislators and superintendents fought a Huckabee-backed plan to consolidate high schools in districts with fewer than 1,500 students.