Justices grill state attorney

(January 22, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court grilled the lawyer representing the state today in a hearing on the Legislature's failure to craft a plan to improve public education. Justices told lawyer Tim Gauger with the rkansas Attorney General's Office that the state has had 14 months since the high court ordered education reforms. There were numerous questions from justices on whether the state has met the court's mandate. The Lake View School District brought the initial case, in which the state was found to have an inadequate and inequitable school system. Attorney Bill Lewellen for the Lake View district argued that the state had let the system languish since a 1983 ruling that drew similar conclusions. Lewellen asked -- quote -- "How long can we wait?" Lewellen wants the court to shut down parts of state government not mandated in the constitution.