Lawmakers Hopeful Actions Will Finally End School Funding Battle

April 9, 2006 - Posted at 2:28 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Lawmakers hope additional money for public

school systems will finally end the decades-old school-funding case

that drew them back to Little Rock last week.

The Legislature finished a special session yesterday with an

additional one hundred-and-32-point-five million dollars for

the state's schools. Lawmakers also raised the state's minimum wage

and banned smoking in most workplaces.

Governor Huckabee said it was significant that lawmakers

accomplished those goals, along with dozens of others, in just five

days. He said "this Legislature deserves to be remembered as

the finest group of men and women who have ever gathered in the

name of the General Assembly.

Overall, the Legislature approved nearly two hundred million

dollars in additional money for the state's school districts.

Thirteen million will go to isolated and declining school

districts, and up to $50 million is for a program to repair

crumbling school buildings.

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