Schools Move Forward with Budgets Despite Court Uncertainty

MAY 31, 2005 - Posted at 3:29 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - School superintendents say they are continuing to hire teachers and plan programs for the 2005-2006 school year.  But the administrators say they are proceding with uncertainty because the state Supreme Court still has to decide whether to reopen the school funding case.

Pine Bluff superintendent Frank Anthony says he is budgeting as though the money approved by the Legislature will hold.

Anthony and other school leaders are awaiting action by the state Supreme Court on a petition by the Rogers School District asking the court to reopen a long-running school-funding case.  Forty-six school districts have filed briefs with the court supporting Rogers' claims that legislators failed to adequately fund schools in the budget they approved this year.

If the court sides with the schools and takes back the case that it relinquished control of last year, it could reappoint special masters to oversee the state's school funding system.

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