(January 29, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- The state has a school consolidation plan and a new funding formula, and is halfway toward having a means to pay for changes in the public education system. This isn't an April Fools joke: the Senate yesterday approved a one-cent increase in the state sales tax that would take effect April first. The tax would raise just under 400 million dollars to fund education improvements. The bill has a clause that would drop the sales tax on food, but only if Internet sales taxes are approved and ultimately far exceed what the food tax now brings in. The increase would fall short of generating the projected 413 million dollars needed to cover the new school funding formula that Governor Mike Huckabee signed into law Tuesday. Sponsors say other tax measures can cover the rest. A House committee is to consider the one-cent tax increase today.