Panel Approves $85 Million for School Repairs in Arkansas

JANUARY 23, 2006 - Posted at 3:33 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state has given initial approval to $85 million in aid for school repairs.

The commission on public school academic facilities and transportation conditionally approved the funding for facility projects around the state.  The money will go toward about $300 million in improvements for the state's schools.

Before the districts can receive the state funding, the districts must meet several conditions, including a financial review of the project.

Senator Shane Broadway, a Bryant Democrat, says the appropriations will help the state craft a response to to long-running school funding lawsuit.

The state Supreme Court stepped back into the school funding case last month, calling Arkansas' school case last month, calling Arkansas' school funding system inadequate.  Justices also called a program to repair crumbling school buildings as "grossly underfunded."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)