LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A proposal for a 2-year moratorium on the closure of Arkansas school districts that have low student populations has failed to clear a House panel.
The House Education Committee voted 10-7 in favor of the measure, with 11 votes needed to move the bill out of committee.
The bill by Republican Rep. Randy Alexander would have stopped mandated school consolidations for at least two years and ordered a study of the minimum enrollment threshold and school transportation issues.
Supporters of the bill say rural districts are harmed by a state law requiring districts to have at least 350 students enrolled or be subject to consolidation with another district.
The Education Department and Attorney General's office said allowing districts to have fewer than 350 students could lead to inadequate education funding.
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