State Panel OKs $34 Million for School Upgrades

DECEMBER 1, 2005 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state panel has approved nearly 300 school improvement projects for school districts with buildings most in need of repairs.  The projects will use $34 million in money approved by the Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation Commission.

The money will be released as soon as the state Education Department approves the contracts.

This year, the Legislature set aside $100 million for school construction projects in response to a 2002 state Supreme Court ruling that Arkansas' school-funding system was unconstitutional.

Also, the commission approved new rules governing how school systems can fund new construction projects.  Two resolutions make it easier for the state to give money to local school districts for new construction and other improvement projects.

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