Gov: may not call special session

(August 5, 2003) — (Harrison-AP) -- Governor Huckabee says he is encouraged about the debate over education reform despite lack of a breakthrough on the issue. He says it seems the state's residents are beginning to realize what a serious issue the court-ordered public education reforms are. But he says he is NO closer to calling a special session to address the state Supreme Court order for sweeping public education improvements. Huckabee says continuing resistance to his plan to merge some high schools in districts that cannot meet higher standards made a planned September special session unlikely. Huckabee is warning patrons of larger districts that they would have to pay much higher taxes for education reform with little or none of the money going to their schools without school district restructuring. But the coordinator of a statewide group to save small school districts says the governor is taking the wrong approach in his tax argument and that citizens of the state should have a broader view.