Local School Funding May be Capped - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

State School Crisis

Local School Funding May be Capped

August 4, 2003 - Posted at: 8:54 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A panel of legislators says one consequence of state education reform could be capping local school funding.

That was their message Monday during the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators annual meeting being held in Little Rock.

Local funding issues might dominate debate in a special session to meet a January first state Supreme Court deadline to overhaul Arkansas' unconstitutional school funding system.

Senator Jim Argue, head of the Senate Education Committee, says local funding issues likely will lead to future lawsuits against the state.

The legislators say a district's local wealth often drives the quality of education its children receive.

Small districts in some areas could raise local taxes to increase course offerings and make other changes, which allow them to remain intact. But poor districts would be unable to meet the new standards and would be forced to consolidate, the legislators say.

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