Special session could end this week

(February 2, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The special legislative session that began December eighth could wrap up this week if the House and Senate can approve education funding measures. The Legislature has passed bills to consolidate the administrations of some smaller school districts and toughen accountability standards. Legislators need to raise taxes by 400 million dollars to finance a new funding formula. Also, the House is expected to reconsider proposals for a ten million-dollar assessment of school buildings statewide and a plan to create new divisions of accountability and public school facilities within the state Department of Education. A 40 million-dollar proposal to expand preschool programs also awaits final legislative approval.