State has until Friday to respond to Lake View complaint

(January 6, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas faces another deadline in the ongoing effort to reform schools. The state has until Monday to respond to claims it failed to adequately address a state Supreme Court order to improve the school system. That is, unless justices decide to speed up the timetable. Last week, plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit that eventually led to the school system funding plan being declared unconstitutional filed a new petition with the court, asking it to stem the flow of state money to most agencies until the school work was done. Court Clerk Leslie Steen says the state has 10 days to respond and the clock started running Friday, when the motion was filed with the court. Thursday was the court-ordered deadline for changing the school funding system. Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Beebe, says a response is already in the works for the Supreme Court case and for a separate petition filed in Little Rock District Court.