House Panel Advances Consolidation Measure

January 14, 2004 - Posted at 2:38 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An alternative to the governor's school consolidation plan drew the endorsement of the House Education Committee today.

The committee approved the bill sponsored by Representative Will Bond of Jacksonville.  The bill went to the full House on a voice vote.

The proposal calls for consolidating school districts with fewer than 350 students, as opposed to the 500-student minimum included in Governor Huckabee's latest proposal.  Last week, the sponsor of Huckabee's bill, Senator Jim Argue of Little Rock, declared the bill dead.

The House resistance to enrollment-based consolidation began softening yesterday as conferees struggled to keep negotiations for a proposed new school funding formula alive.

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