Legislative Committee Okays $500,000 Price Tag for School Renovations

DECEMBER 30, 2004 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A special legislative committee has decided that it will spend a half-million dollars to create a new division that will be in charge of court-ordered public school building renovations.

The Joint Committee on Educational Facilities agreed Wednesday to use leftover funds from its startup after this year's special session on education to get the new Division of Public School Academic Facilities off the ground.

Part of the state Education Department, the division was created during the special session to eventually assess school buildings and equipment statewide and make annual reports and recommendations for upgrades to the governor and the Legislature.

However, it won't have operating money until lawmakers approve an appropriation during the regular session that begins January 10 and regular funding likely won't flow until July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.

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