Speaker: enough votes to beat consolidation

(October 15, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- House Speaker Herschel Cleveland says he has enough votes in the House to pass an education plan that would not consolidate high schools. Governor Huckabee's revised education plan still calls for consolidation of smaller high schools that don't meet tightened standards efficiently. House opponents of consolidation have long said they have enough support to pass an anti-consolidation alternative. One passed the House during the regular session that would give all school districts two years to meet expected new education standards. It died in the Senate. Huckabee yesterday called the Senate a "firewall" against "dangerous and detrimental legislation." Huckabee says he'll meet with small groups of legislators before convening the General Assembly on December eighth for a special session.