Lawmakers grapple with education funding

(October 29, 2003) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Legislators say the state will have to make up the difference between local revenues when funding schools spread among the state's rich and poor areas. The Interim House and Senate Education Committees are working out how to handle isolated local millages for schools that are above the state mandated 25-mill statewide minimum rate. Also, legislators are considering the use of 70 (m) million dollars in federal money that Governor Huckabee has set aside for school district consolidation incentive funds. Legislators are looking at using the money instead to pay for an ssessment of public school buildings and equipment. Under a state Supreme Court ruling, the state is responsible for making sure children statewide attend school in adequate buildings.