"The General Assembly should enact legislation which re-structures, effective school year 1999-2000, Arkansas' existing 311 school districts into not more than 134 "administrative units" where an administrative unit is defined as "one superintendent and an associated superintendent's staff." (Murphy Commission, "Streamlining and Cost-Saving Opportunities in Arkansas' K-12 Public Education System," September 1998)

(November 2005) The Parkin School District will be annexed by neighboring Wynne under terms of a plan approved recently by the state Board of Education. The Murphy Commission, a Policy Foundation project, first recommended Parkin's administrative restructuring n 1998 as part of a proposal to save tax dollars by eliminating K-12 administrators.

Other public school districts facing restructuring include Elaine, DeValls Bluff and Waldo. Recent enrollment in the three districts is less than the 350-student threshold established last year by the state legislature. The Policy Foundation recommended administrative restructuring of the Elaine, DeValls Bluff and Waldo districts in 1998. It's time to enact that recommendation prior to or at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

The 1998 recommendation, ignored at the time, was partially implemented in 2004 when 59 districts the Policy Foundation had identified were finally reorganized under PA 60. Parkin is the 60th K-12 district identified by the Policy Foundation to face restructuring as Arkansas officials move to respond to the Lake View school finance case.

Administrative restructuring does not imply a reduction in classroom instruction or elimination of sports teams in Elaine, DeValls Bluff and Waldo. The Policy Foundation noted in its 1998 report, "Every school can keep its mascot, football and basketball team and preserve long-standing rivalries with other schools."

The Policy Foundation estimated its 1998 administrative restructuring plan would save taxpayers $175 million over a 10-year period.

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