Legislator: Time for education reform clearinghouse

(September 10, 2003) - (Little Rock-AP) -- A veteran state legislator says it's timefor a single clearinghouse for education reform plans. Representative Jodie Mahony says the House and Senate educationcommittees should jointly take charge now of writing public school reform legislation for a December special session. He says it does not matter how many different plans are being debated in public because only one will get out of those committees. Mahony says the committees need to begin meeting regularly to draft legislation for a special education session that Governor Huckabee has tentatively set to begin December eighth. The education committees are scheduled to meet jointly September 18th. Mahony is a non-voting member of the House Education Committee. Senator Jim Argue, chairman of the Senate panel, says the committees could meet as often as once a week, focusing on three broad areas of education reform: resources, including teacher salaries and preschool; program development and expanding the ability of schools to reach more children; and accountability.