House, Senate on different tracks

(December 15, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- As the second week of the special session begins, two key proposals are pending in the Legislature. One in the House would create a new two-tiered formula for distributing about two and a half (b) billion dollars in school aid to the school districts. It's the first bill of the session to deal directly with replacing the existing funding formula that the state Supreme Court said is unconstitutional. The other bill is in the Senate. It is meant to clarify and strengthen academic standards and establish tough new requirements to test student and school performance. Though separate pieces of legislation, standards in both bills eventually could be used to determine whether a struggling school district survives.