School Restructuring Continues To Threaten Session

January 12, 2004 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - House Speaker Herschel Cleveland says he's concerned that legislators who favor merging school districts could block attempts to raise an additional $400 million under a proposed new school funding formula.

Cleveland is meeting with groups of legislators in hope of rallying support for a funding plan that would not include combining school districts.

The House has gutted Governor Huckabee's plan to consolidate districts with fewer than 500 students.

Consolidation supporters filed a revised version of Huckabee's bill on Friday, though the future of the measure is uncertain.

Huckabee on Friday reiterated his threat to lead a ballot initiative to have voters approve consolidation if the Legislature does not act.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)