Sups offer plan

(August 27, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas superintendents are looking for ways to avoid relying strictly on school district size to decide which districts will survive court-ordered school reform. Superintendents from some of the state's largest districts voted for a compromise plan to raise academic and teacher pay standards, and to use curriculum, student performance, costs and nearly two dozen other factors in rating a district's efficiency level. Their proposal would require districts that lag behind in teacher salaries to increase pay by two-thousand dollars each year until they reach the 45-thousand dollar a year average of fellow Southern states. It also would raise the number of required courses to be offered by every district every year from the existing 38-and-a-half units to 45 in 2006, and raise the number of units required for graduation from 21 to 24.