Consolidation suit may slow transitions

(June 7, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- State officials say a lawsuit by a number of small school districts that seeks to stop consolidation could disrupt the transition to the coming school year. State Education Director Ken James says his agency has followed state directives to consolidate the 57 smallest school districts. Some of those districts are asking a federal judge to prevent the state from proceeding with administrative school consolidations and annexations. A lawyer for the districts says the suit could be expanded to take on some of the larger districts that have been forced to take on additional students.