UA Professor Emeritus Critical of Arkansas School System - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

UA Professor Emeritus Critical of Arkansas School System

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A key witness for the now-defunct Lake View School District whose lawsuit resulted in an overhaul of Arkansas' school-funding system says he's not satisfied that the original demands for equity have been met.

Martin W. Schoppmeyer, Sr., professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas, says the state's poor school districts and poor children are still hurting.  Despite legislative efforts, Schoppmeyer says, the richer school districts will continue to get richer and poor districts will continue to struggle.  He says Amendement 74 is partly to blame.  It was approved by voters in 1996, and set a statewide uniform property tax rate of 25 mills for local school districts.  The amendment also allowed increases to enhance local schools.  Schoppmeyer says that left poor districts to again compete with rich districts for teachers and resources.

Last week, the Arkansas Supreme Court ended the Lake View case in ruling that the state now provides a constitutionally adequate education to its 450,000 public school students.

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

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