Six Region 8 School Districts to Lose Funding Due to Accounting Error - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Six Region 8 School Districts to Lose Funding Due to Accounting Error

APRIL 21, 2005 - Posted at 7:34 a.m. CDT


LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state senator who helped engineer school reform in Arkansas says that many Delta districts that will lose money next week took advantage of past funding formulas.  Senator Jim Argue (D-Little Rock) said the districts were guilty of "manipulating" the state through the federal free and reduced price lunch program.

And, further, Argue says the ten districts that lost money are lucky the state didn't force them to repay money the districts were overpaid in the current school year.  The overpayments resulted from an accounting error that allowed the districts to count all of their students while qualifying for state poverty funding.  He says the districts took advantage of the formula and violated the legislators intent.

Because the legislature took the accounting error into consideration while constructing next year's budget, ten districts are projected to lose funding, including six in Region 8.  Those include Blytheville, Brinkley, Forrest City, Osceola, Parkin and Turrell.

Forrest City superintendent Lee Vent defended the districts, saying they did not ask for the additional funding.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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