Pocahontas Lawmaker Makes Pitch for His Own Education Plan

November 25, 2003 - Posted at 2:14 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An opponent of using minimum enrollment to consolidate small high schools told fellow legislators today he would rework his standards-based proposal that could eliminate as many as 80 districts after January 1.

Representative Harmon Seawel of Pocahontas says his intention is to give more time to districts that don't currently meet the existing requirement to offer all core courses every other year.

Seawel wants to give the districts until the beginning of the next school year, or later, to meet new standards that will require all 38 courses be taught every year.

Deputy state Education Director Woody Cummins said about 80 schools did not meet the core curriculum requirement last school year.  He said assessments to determine districts' status this year were not complete.

Seawel, the House majority leader, presented his public school overhaul plan today at a joint meeting of the House and Senate education committees.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)