More Than 40 Arkansas Superintendents Meet in Region 8 Today to Discuss School Funding

APRIL 19, 2005 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CDT, updated at 4:21 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - School superintendents from the Arkansas Delta and an attorney for the Rogers School District met today in Forrest City to develop a legal strategy to pressure the state Supreme Court to reopen its long-standing school funding case.

Forrest City Superintendent Lee Vent organized the meeting and said he expected 45 superintendents from south and east Arkansas and their school district attorneys to attend the meeting in his junior high gymnasium.  Vent said the group is unhappy with the public school budget adopted in the legislative session that ended last week.  Under the funding plan, many of the Arkansas Delta districts lose funding in the 2005-2006 school year.

Last week, the Rogers School District asked the state Supreme Court to recall its mandate in the school-funding case.  In his filing to the high court, attorney David Matthews said the state reneged on promises made in a special legislative session held last year in response to the court's 2002 ruling that Arkansas' public school system was unconstitutionally inadequate.

Matthews petitioned the court to reassert its jurisdiction in the case and to reappoint the special masters who last year reviewed steps the state took to comply with the ruling.

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