New Poll Shows Arkansans Closely Divided on Consolidation Issue

February 4, 2004 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansans are closely divided on whether the state should consolidate its smaller school districts, according to a recent poll.

The poll shows 47 percent of respondents favor consolidation and 43 percent are generally opposed to merging schools.

The polling was conducted by Opinion Research Associates of Little Rock for the Stephens Media Group.  The margin of error is four-and-a-half percentage points.

Those with college educations and well-paying white collar jobs in urban areas overwhelmingly supported consolidation.  Those with low-wage blue collar jobs in rural areas and those with only a high school education or less ran strongly against it.

Consolidation also was more popular among Republicans and central Arkansans.  There was little difference by race or gender.

Opinion Research called 500 Arkansans, 125 registered voters in each of the state's four congressional districts, Thursday through Monday.

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