Attorney General Asks Supreme Court Not to Reopen School Funding Case

MAY 4, 2005 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe's office has asked the state Supreme Court to deny a request to reopen the school funding lawsuit.  Dozens of school districts joined in an attempt to have the high court revisit the Lake View case, which led to a major overhaul of public education.

The dissatisfied districts take issue with how the Legislature funded education in the just-concluded session.

Nearly a year has passed since the Supreme Court closed the case after the Legislature adopted sweeping school reforms and $370 million in new taxes to pay for them.  Beebe's office says follow-up measures, such as improvements to school facilities, have not had time to succeed and he says it is too early for the court to consider reopening the case.

Last week, the high court took judicial notice of the filings but did not indicate whether justices would allow any of the districts that had requested to intervene to become involved in the case.

The filings also did not indicate how quickly the high court might act.  The Legislature is set to formally adjourn May 13.

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