State makes first involuntary school consolidation

(May 17, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The state Education Board today unanimously approved the first involuntary consolidation of Arkansas school districts. The board voted to consolidate the Carthage School District into the Malvern district. Earlier, the board combined the Biggers-Reyno and Corning districts. Carthage was equally far away from several prospective consolidation partners and the board chose Malvern, which is 29 miles away. The combined Biggers-Reno and Corning district will have 12-hundred-50 students and J-M- Edington will be the superintendent of the consolidated district. As of now, the district has no name. School officials have agreed to keep both high schools open next year but say the high school at Biggers-Reyno will be closed as soon as it is feasible. Five other forced consolidations are on today's agenda: Delaplaine, Holly Grove, Huttig, Lake View and Sparkman districts.