Governor reduces consolidation threshold...again

(November 13, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee is revising his ideas on how small a school can be and efficiently offer an adequate education. His revised school reform plan advocated consolidating high schools with less than 425 students. But he's lowered that number to 375 students. Huckabee says he lowered the number because he believes schools that size could still offer the new Smart Core curriculum efficiently. He says that decision is based on research by consultants who recommended education improvements to a special legislative committee. Currently, 221 high schools in Arkansas have fewer than 375 students. Curriculum changes endorsed by the state Board of Education would require school districts to teach 38 core courses every year instead of every other year. They also would raise from 21 to 22 the number of units required for graduation and enhance performance testing.