Huckabee Threatens Christmas Eve Education Session - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas School Crisis

Huckabee Threatens Christmas Eve Education Session

July 11, 2003 - Posted at: 1:48 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Governor Mike Huckabee Friday urged large school districts to join in the education reform debate. The governor says the majority in the state will be sorry if a minority of districts controls the debate on school reform.

Rural educators made it clear this week that they won't accept plans to consolidate school districts as part of a plan to improve public schools in Arkansas.

Speaking to The Associated Press, the governor said he may wait until Christmas eve to call legislators into special session if it takes that long to reach a consensus on the improvements.

The state has a deadline of January 1 to meet an Arkansas Supreme Court order to make school funding adequate and equitable among districts.

Huckabee says some consolidation will likely be necessary so the state can afford education improvements. He says he's flexible on the issue but says that part of his message is not being heard.

As the governor put it: "I feel like sometimes taking a brick and hitting my head with it and saying 'I'm not getting through to people.'"

The governor says he needs support in his battle to put reforms in place, otherwise residents where there are larger districts -- such as Little Rock, Springdale and other bigger cities -- could end up paying vastly higher taxes.

Huckabee says an extravagant per-student cost would be a bonus for small districts but it would come at the expense of larger districts. Huckabee says he wants to put in place efficient spending practices while improving course offerings for students across the state.

The governor says he is concerned that some legislators may try to take powers away from the governor's office to name the director of the state Education Department and appoint members to the Education Board. He also says he's worried that some legislators may try to "dumb down" course requirements and effectively make no changes while still raising taxes.

Huckabee says he believes the courts won't fault him if he refuses to call a session in which court-ordered mandates can't occur.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • breaking

    ASP investigates homicide

    ASP investigates homicide

    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:22 PM EST2017-12-17 19:22:42 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:31 PM EST2017-12-17 19:31:41 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    According to Lt. Allen Edwards with the Newport Police Department, authorities are investigating the death of a man Saturday night. 

    According to Lt. Allen Edwards with the Newport Police Department, authorities are investigating the death of a man Saturday night. 

  • Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with first-degree murder

    Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with first-degree murder

    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:24 PM EST2017-12-17 19:24:45 GMT
    (Source: Riverside County Sheriff Department)(Source: Riverside County Sheriff Department)

    The ex-wife of murdered NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been arrested by U.S Marshals in California. 

    The ex-wife of murdered NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been arrested by U.S Marshals in California. 

  • breaking

    Fire destroys shop in Jackson County

    Fire destroys shop in Jackson County

    Sunday, December 17 2017 11:55 AM EST2017-12-17 16:55:56 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 1:41 PM EST2017-12-17 18:41:53 GMT
    (Source: AP Graphics Bank)(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

    Firefighters spent several hours Sunday battling a blaze in Jackson County that completely destroyed a 10,000-square-foot shop. 

    Firefighters spent several hours Sunday battling a blaze in Jackson County that completely destroyed a 10,000-square-foot shop. 

Powered by Frankly