House, Senate pass different measures

(December 23, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Legislators are faced with opposing education bills having passed the House and the Senate. Yesterday, the House approved legislation to keep Arkansas' smallest school districts intact. The day before, the Senate passed Governor Huckabee's plan to consolidate some school districts. Huckabee says he doesn't doubt the sincerity of rural legislators who oppose consolidation. But, Huckabee says the House bill is based on the same argument that the state made unsuccessfully in a lawsuit in which the state Supreme Court declared Arkansas public education system unconstitutional. Backers of Huckabee's bill still hope to get his legislation out of the House Education Committee, here the bill has so far not had enough votes. Other plans could be put forth today.