Lawyer offers to drop suit if state delays consolidation

(June 8, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- A lawyer suing to block consolidation of smaller school districts says he'll drop the court action if the Legislature agrees to delay a plan already underway to combine 57 small districts. Members of a legislative panel appeared disinclined yesterday to take Bill Lewellen up on his offer. The Legislature is to reconvene this week to bring the special session to a formal close. Legislative leaders said they expect an uneventful end to thesession. In an appearance before the legislative Joint Performance Review Committee, Lewellen criticized consolidation and the state Board of Education's process for consolidation.