One Lawyer Tells Masters School Funding Work Still Unfinished

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Attorneys for three school districts challenging the state's school funding efforts told a pair of court-appointed masters today they were pleased with the Legislature's efforts this year, but a fourth said work still remains to be done.

Attorneys on both sides on the long running Lake View school funding case discussed the work of this year's legislative session during a hearing with Bradley Jesson and David Newbern. The former state Supreme Court justices were appointed by the high court to review Arkansas' efforts to provide an adequate education to its students.

Assistant Attorney General Matt McCoy told the masters that the state believed that a number of bills, including a boost in per-student funding addressed all of the remaining issues in the case.

David Matthews, who represents the Rogers School District, told the masters that he could not think of anything that has been left undone by the Legislature.

However, Chris Heller, an attorney for the Little Rock School District, said he is concerned that the state had not addressed the district's objections to the wealth index used to fund facilities improvement.

Heller says Little Rock is also concerned about funding for students who live in poverty.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)