Supreme Court: Arkansas Now in Compliance with School Funding Standards

MAY 31, 2007 - Posted at 9:37 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today that the state has met constitutional standards to provide an adequate school funding system, ending a long-standing lawsuit.

The opinion written by Justice Robert L. Brown brought to a close the Lake View school funding case.  The court cited the Legislature's additional spending, including a $122 million increase in per-student funding and $456 million from the state's surplus to pay for repairs to dilapidated school buildings.

Today's opinion says the Legislature has taken the necessary steps to ensure the state's 450,000 public school students are provided an adequate education and its willingness to make adjustments.

At a hearing last month, attorneys for three of four school districts making presentations told two special masters that the state had addressed concerns from the districts and achieved constitutional funding standards.

A lawyer for the Little Rock School District said at the hearing that he was concerned that the state had not addressed the district's objections to the wealth index used to fund facilities improvements.

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