Education advocates wait for first school finance reports

(June 18, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Education advocates and lawmakers are awaiting a detailed report on how much Arkansas schools spend on sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities. A new state law requiring stricter accounting of those activities requires schools to write reports by this fall. State Education Director Ken James said that those reports should be enough for lawmakers to decide whether schools are spending too much on non-academic programs. Arkansas may be facing additional new taxes to pay for vast improvements in school facilities, so education advocates are now looking to these eports to see if they can cut spending from extra-curricular activities. Lesiglators should have complete reports on such spending in time for the next legislative session in 2005.