Blytheville Senator Vents Frustration over Lack of School Funding Movement

FEBRUARY 13, 2007 - Posted at 3:47 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state senator from Region 8 vented frustration over the Legislature's inactivity on education funding today by questioning whether lawmakers are setting too many other spending priorities.

Senator Steve Bryles (D-Blytheville) asked the chairman of the Joint Budget Committee whether the state was waiting until it had "just enough" to fund the state's 450,000-student public school system.

Bryles' comments came after lawmakers questioned why a budget for the school system has not yet been filed in the Legislative session.

Governor Beebe last month proposed increasing public school funding $19 billion above a legislative panel's recommendations.  But Beebe has not specified where those additional funds should go.

The session is in its sixth week, and legislators have focused on issues other than education.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)