Education reform: he said, she said

(March 17, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Court filings submitted to special masters evaluating Arkansas' efforts to make court-ordered education reform embrace a wide variety of opinions. Some say the efforts fall far short, some say they don't go quite far enough and others proclaim the changes just right. The masters -- former Supreme Court justices Brad Jesson and David Newbern -- are charged with helping determine if the state has done enough. In his filing, Attorney General Mike Beebe said legislators have improved schools sufficiently. Governor Huckabee restated his wish that more small high schools close their doors. Lawyers for the tiny Lake View School District said recent changes made to the public school system do NOT go far enough to make the system constitutionally fair. The state Supreme Court ruled in November 2002 that Arkansas didn't spend enough money on public schools and divided money unevenly. Legislators meeting in a special session that ended last month dedicated more money to education.