Legislators Say Repairing Arkansas School Buildings will Require a Statewide Bond

JANUARY 6, 2005 - Posted at 8:24 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Legislators say that repairing Arkansas school buildings will require a state and local partnership and a possible statewide bond to pay for the state's share of the costs.

Legislature responding to a series of questions from The Associated Press said upgrading school buildings and equipment was the overwhelming top priority for the legislative session that starts Monday.

Improving facilities is the remaining mandate from a 2002 state Supreme Court decision that declared Arkansas' public school funding system unconstitutionally inequitable and inadequate.

Returning lawmakers and incoming freshmen alike agreed that school facilities would be the primary focus of this year's session, and that local districts and the state must share the burden of paying for improvements.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)