Monday, August 28, 2006

Senator Argue Wraps Adequacy Information in Secrecy

Senator Argue Proposes Bill To Raise Minimum District Size to 800

Last week Senator Jim Argue and Representative Joyce Elliott did something I have never known legislators to do. Argue and Elliott asked the recipients of a memo in bold underlined print "not to reproduce or distribute this document" Other legislators have said they have never seen a note like this on legislative documents before either.

This "not to reproduce or distribute" statement was on a memorandum called a legislative alert. It was sent out to the Joint Adequacy Study Oversight announcing their meeting to be held August 24th (last Thursday) to discuss the report by the Adequacy Experts Odden and Picus. The document not to be reproduced or distributed was the 91 page report by Odden and Picus

Who gave these legislators the right to wrap in secrecy legislative information produced with taxpayers' money? What information do they not want the people to see and why?

My greater concern is the power and influence Argue and Elliott may have had on the media. This concern originates with the fact that to my knowledge no one in the media reported on this important all day meeting (from 9:00 to about 5:00) that involves $335 million more dollars the Adequacy experts are recommending. I searched the major papers, AP, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Stephens media and Google and found no report whatsoever on this meeting.

I attended the meeting and heard several interesting things that would have made a great story. For one thing Senator Argue had this to say: "Mr. Hudson, I am going to ask the staff to go ahead and draw up a bill in my name to raise the minimum district size to 800." During an intense court battle with the Paron school closing being reported in papers across the state along with other rural school battles, just why would that statement by Argue not be significant enough to be included in a newspaper story? And why isn't that statement a significant story when Argue is opposing his party leaders. Beebe and Halter have both recently said they don't think we need any more consolidation.

Stay tuned and I will give the details in my next email surrounding Senator Argue's statement along with a few other details that would have made a very interesting news story.

By the way, I would welcome the media's explanation if I am jumping to some wrong conclusions as to why they didn't cover the story. If I find I have misunderstood something, I will gladly send out another email correcting this one.

Following is the way this memorandum read. This is not an official copy, but I will fax the authentic copy to anyone that wants it with the official seal on it.

The meeting is on video and above quote was transcribed from the video.

(continued- click Monday below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

State of Arkansas
Bureau of
Legislative Research


TO The Members of the Joint Adequacy Study Oversight: Subcommittee and Interested Membersof the House and Senate Interim Committees on Education

FROM Mark Hudson

SUBJECT: Final Draft of the Arkansas Recalibration Report

DATE; August 17, 2006
Enclosed for your review is a copy of the final draft of the Arkansas Recalibration Report. The report will be discussed at the August 24th meeting of the Joint Adequacy Study Oversight subcommittee.

Senator Argue and Representative Elliott ask that you not reproduce or distribute this document.

I hope you will find this information beneficial. Please call me at 501-537-9173 if you have any questions or need additional information.


State Capitol Rooom315 Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone (501) 682-1937 Fax (501) 682-1936 TDD (501 682 1940

7:33 PM, August 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes! Even in the midst of an election campaign they want to do this. No rural school will be safe after the election.

7:58 PM, August 28, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home