Education Vote talk NOT hurting Compromise

August 13, 2003  -- Posted at 7:22 a.m. CDT

NEWPORT, Ark.  --Governor Huckabee says talk of letting voters decide on education reform is NOT hurting prospects for a compromise between him and legislators on the issue.

He says he would prefer a legislative solution, but competing ballot initiatives would be a workable alternative.

The governor is working on a ballot initiative for his education reform ideas, and his opponents are working on one of their own. Huckabee favors reducing the number of school districts to make higher standards affordable. He touted his ideas in east-central Arkansas yesterday.

Opponents say they will NOT back school consolidation. Officials are trying to find reform measures to address a state Supreme Court ruling that Arkansas' public school funding is unconstitutionally unfair and inadequate.

The court gave the state until January to develop solutions that provide equal educational opportunities to all public school students.

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