Huckabee Still Considering Ballot Initiative on Consolidation

MARCH 26, 2004 - Posted at 7:55 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Mike Huckabee is waiting until a special master's report due April 3 to see if he should pursue a ballot initiative to make more schools consolidate.

The governor has previously said he wants districts with fewer than 1,500 students to consolidate.

Currently 57 school districts with fewer than 350 students are in the process of joining other districts.

Huckabee has been pushing consolidation since last year's regular legislative session.  When no such measure came to the floor, Huckabee promoted the proposal again in this year's special session.  Legislators approved a watered-down version of the plan.

If the special master's report shows that more schools need to consolidate, Huckabee plans to pursue the ballot initiative.

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