December 19, 2003 - Posted at 12:14 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Seventeen senators lined up today to reject a plan to trim a high school consolidation plan backed by Governor Huckabee. The effort to trim the minimum high school size from 500 students to 350 students lost on a 17-14 vote.
Discussion turned to the Huckabee plan, but 18 votes are needed for passage.
Separately, Huckabee has said he is agreeable to some tweaking of his education reform plan. Word from the Capitol this morning is that Huckabee would let the state's smallest school districts merge to create a district of 500 students. That is less than his initial idea that small schools had to merge to create a district with at least 700 students.
Senator Jim Argue of Little Rock says if the change is made, it will be done in the House. The governor wants schools with fewer than 500 students to merge with a neighbor as part of his plan to improve education in Arkansas.