The Arkansas Supreme Court has held that state lawmakers have not done enough to improve funding for the state’s schools and to repair school buildings across the state, affirming the recent findings of court-appointed special masters.
In its latest decision in Lake View School District No. 25 v. Huckabee, filed in 1992, the court ruled Dec. 15 by a 4-2 vote that the state isn’t following its own new education finance laws, and has “retreated from its prior actions” to improve education.
The decision said that the legislature had not made an appropriate effort to determine “what adequate funding should be” in the state. The court set a Dec. 1, 2006, deadline for state leaders to devise a plan for improving school campuses, which the court said are “grossly underfunded.”
Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, said he has no plans to call for a special legislative session to address the issues cited by the court. The legislature does not meet in regular session in 2006, but the state Senate education committee may begin hearings on the subject soon.