Lake View may try to block consolidation

(May 18, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Lake View school officials say they will meet with school patrons to plan their next move after being ordered to consolidate. The district - which successfully sued over the state of public education in Arkansas - was involuntarily paired with the Barton-Lexa district yesterday. The state Board of Education also paired six other small school districts that failed to find willing partners by a deadline. The vote to consolidate Lake View was unanimous. Lake View officials hinted at the possibility of legal action to block a merger they said amounts to punishment for winning its lawsuit and prompting sweeping changes in public education -including consolidation of the smallest districts. Lake View spokesman Jimmie Wilson says the district feels betrayed by legislators who voted to consolidate small schools while allowing larger districts with academic troubles to remain in existence.