Educators: reform consensus closer

(September 17, 2003) — (Brinkley-AP) -- Legislators who attended a forum on education yesterday say they are inching closer to a consensus on education reforms. They say the meeting in Brinkley indicates partisanship and posturing on reforms are being left behind in the debate over court-ordered improvements. About a dozen legislators attended, two days before a scheduled joint meeting of the House and Senate education committees. In a show of support for schools in the impoverished Mississippi Delta, some northwest Arkansas legislators and the Bentonville School District superintendent attended the meeting and said they wanted to show cooperation between seemingly disparate regions of the state. The Arkansas Supreme Court has set a January deadline for legislators to overhaul a public school system that the court declared unconstitutionally bad. Governor Huckabee has set December eighth as a tentative date for a special session on education reform.