Lawmakers between the Rock and a hard place

(January 20, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Legislators return to the state Capitol today to begin the seventh week of a special session on education reform. Some hold little hope that a plan will be in place by Thursday, when the state Supreme Court will measure efforts made to improve schools before a deadline. That deadline was January first. The high court will hear oral arguments Thursday on a motion to block funding to most state agencies until lawmakers comply with the court's order to create a school system that passes constitutional muster. Legislators met Saturday to keep as close to schedule as possible. They didn't meet yesterday because of the state holiday observing the birthdays of slain civil rights leader Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and Confederate General Robert E- Lee.