Next round of education reform plans set for release

(September 24, 2003) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The details of Governor Huckabee's revised education reform plan could show how much Huckabee is willing to compromise. Education leaders say Huckabee's new plan could help determine whether a special session on court-ordered improvements succeeds. Huckabee is expected to release the plan as early as Friday. The Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, comprised of superintendents and other administrators from Arkansas' 308 school districts, is working on its own plan. Association director Kellar Noggle says it will be helpful if everyone involved in the debate can get behind the same plan -- or at least incorporate ideas from both proposals in the final package. The association's plan is based on an efficiency standard that districts must follow to show they can meet academic standards in an economically efficient way or face consolidation. Huckabee's previous proposal targeted high schools in districts with fewer than 15-hundred students. Rural school patrons fought the proposal, saying it would destroy many of the state's small towns.