Governor Huckabee/AR Supreme Court Quotes Governor Quotes vs Ar Supreme Court Quotes 1

 

Contrast Governor Huckabee's Quotes on Consolidation 

And Local Control to Quotes From The Actual Lake View School Decision

The word consolidation or even the concept of consolidation is not mentioned in the Court ruling except for one irrelevant reference to academically distressed schools.

 

(Thanks to a superintendent for putting this together and allowing us to post it - slightly edited.)

 

Huckabee Quotes - See end of  this column for source.  Emphasis Added.

1. Governor Huckabee, said:

"On Nov. 21, 2002, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued its opinion in the long-debated Lake View School funding case"  "In essence, local control of public schools was eliminated when the Supreme Court issued its ruling in November."

 

 

" For the first time, the state rather than local school districts is being held directly responsible for all aspects of our children's education."

 

 

"Powers that traditionally were given to local superintendents will now be handled at the regional and state levels."

 

 

Then Huckabee makes a most astounding statement  “We must make them [changes which includes consolidation] not only because it’s the thing we’re required to do but also because it’s the right thing to do.” He further says, “ I’ll admit there are things here that we probably wouldn’t have had either the political courage or the political capital to address absent the Supreme Court ruling.”

 

2. Governor Huckabee said,

“We offer a plan today that changes the educational delivery system so we can meet the Supreme Court's mandate. The plan transforms a system of 310 school districts --which have unaffordable and duplicated instructional, policy, administrative and support services costs -- into a system of 107-116 districts with those same services efficiently and effectively delivered. The result will be a more centralized administrative and governance network.”

 

 

3. Governor Huckabee said,

Prior to the implementation of the school reorganization plan, the state Department of Education will itself reorganize. It must maximize its role as an active senior partner with the schools rather than as an intruder or spectator.

 

 

4. Governor Huckabee said, 

“Changes in the larger society have driven a change in the very mission of public education.  It has changed from compulsory attendance with optional learning to that of compulsory learning for all...Whenever the function of a system is changed, you must change the form to meet the new function.”

 

5. Governor Huckabee said,

We’ll offer a plan that will change the form of the educational delivery system and meet the Arkansas Supreme Court’s mandates. We’ll also offer a plan that morphs the current system of school districts into a system in which instructional, policy, administrative and support services are efficiently and effectively delivered within a centralized network… This new structure, while initially preserving every existing elementary school, will require the closure of many secondary schools, primarily those serving students in grades 9-12 where the state finds the most operational and academic inefficiencies.”

 

 

 

 

6. Governor Huckabee Said:

 "It may take what appears on the surface to be a greater inequity to bring true equity," he said. "That's going to be one of the surprising conclusions as we implement the Lake View [Supreme Court] decision."

 ( Quoted from Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Friday, December 13, 2002 )                                   

 

 

1. Arkansas Supreme Court said in Lakeview,

"The trial court's role and this court's role, as previously discussed in this opinion, are limited to a determination of whether the existing school-funding system satisfies constitutional dictates and, if not, why not."

 

“The General Assembly has been well within in constitutional authority in the creation of districts and in allowing local control. This court has long recognized that the General Assembly must employ agencies to accomplish the obligation of establishing and maintaining a system of free and public schools.”

 

[I]t has never been this court’s constitutional function to micromanage the public schools of this state or even to retain jurisdiction over the public school system until, in our judgment, an adequacy standard has been achieved.

“Stated simply, the fact that the Department of Education has refused to prepare an adequacy study is extremely troublesome and frustrating to this court, as it must be the General Assembly”

“The legislature is responsible to the people alone, not to the courts, for its disregard of, or failure to perform, and the remedy is with the people, by electing other servants, and not through the courts.

 

2. Arkansas Supreme Court said in Lakeview

There are no quotes on consolidation or the concept  except one reference to academically distressed schools.

"It is not the court’s intention to monitor or superintend the public schools of this State. "

“ We emphasize that the fundamental right at issue is the right to a State funded constitutional adequate public education. It is not the right to horizontal resource replication for school to school and district to district.”

 

 

3.  Arkansas Supreme Court said in Lakeview,

“The State Board shall devise a process for involving teachers, school administrators, school boards, and parents in the definition of an adequate education for Arkansas students.”

 

 

4.  Arkansas Supreme Court said in Lakeview,

Most states in recent years have avoided proclaiming that an adequate education is a fundamental right because that carries with it the obligation of the courts to examine and scrutinize all legislation respecting education strictly...We conclude that it is unnecessary to reach the issue of whether a fundamental right is also implied.

 

5.  Arkansas Supreme Court said in Lakeview,

“The General Assembly has been well within its constitutional authority in the creation of the districts and in allowing local control.

 

"The trial court's role and this court's role, as previously discussed in this opinion, are limited to a determination of whether the existing school-funding system satisfies constitutional dictates and, if not, why not."

 

[T]o determine the amount of funding “for an education system based ... on the amount necessary to provide an adequate educational system, the court concludes an adequacy study is necessary and must be conducted forthwith.” ...“This is a failure of the General Assembly.

 

6.  A Superintendent Says:

Governor Huckabee and I did not read the same decision.  Nowhere in the decision I read did the Arkansas Supreme Court, dictate the consolidation of our public schools. Nor does it appear to me the high court wishes to control our public school system. The governor’s present plan gives the governor a dictatorship over public schools. I do not believe the Arkansas Supreme Court will find this plan constitutional.”

 

Huckabee Quotes  Taken from Huckabee's Written Educational Plan in booklet entitled “Governor Mike Huckabee’s Legislative Agenda” January 14, 2003, given to legislators the first day of 2003 Legislative Session.

 

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