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In a special session, the Arkansas legislature last week altered the way local wealth is determined under the state's school-funding formula. It was responding to disclosures that the state education department had been incorrectly allocating funds for 11 years.

State officials had decided to ignore a provision of state law that effectively reduced funding to districts that increased local tax revenues. The state thereby shortchanged some districts. (See Education Week, Feb. 23, 1994.)

The new law will determine this year's aid as if all districts levied the same tax rate. It also appropriated $3.6 million to maintain level funding for 112 districts that would lose funds this school year as a result of the change.

Gov. Jim Guy Tucker said that he may call another special session in the fall to reconsider the formula.

School Violence: New York State United Teachers last week proposed a package of legislative reforms to fight violence in schools.

Union officials are seeking alternative schools for violent and unruly students, new discipline procedures, and funding for additional metal detectors and campus law-enforcement officers. The plan also calls for classifying assaults against teachers as felonies.

Vol. 13, Issue 24

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