Holt on education | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Holt on education

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2006 at 3:47 PM

The Halter campaign carves up Holt for his record on education. News release on the jump.


During last night’s Lieutenant Governor debate, Jim Holt, after six years of failure in the Legislature, finally revealed his plan to improve public schools.  Jim Holt’s plan: “a child has to have love.” Today the Halter for Lieutenant Governor campaign agreed that children need love, but they also need an excellent education system that prepares them for the future. The Halter campaign also noted that Holt’s legislative record on education doesn’t show much love for Arkansas’s children and he has no real plan to improve public schools.

“Last night’s debate showed Arkansans that Jim Holt continues to put personal ideology above progress.  Unfortunately for Arkansas’s children, his far right-wing ideology leads him to consistently vote against improving public schools, thus putting his beliefs above the real needs of Arkansas’s schoolchildren,” said Michael Cook, Halter campaign manager.  “Jim Holt’s education report card is peppered with ‘F’s and “incompletes” for failing our children.”

The Halter campaign also noted that Jim Holt’s ineffectiveness as a legislator has been well-documented.

“Every time Jim Holt was eligible, he was named by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as one of the “Top Ten Worst Legislators” thus probably making him one of the worst legislators in Arkansas’s history,” said Michael Cook.  “In six years in the Legislature Jim Holt has not passed one piece ofeducation legislation and the few bills he did offer rarely even got out of

Bill Halter has a comprehensive plan to improve Arkansas’s education system from pre-kindergarten to college.  Halter’s education plan can be read on his website at www.billhalter.com.

Jim Holt’s Abysmal Record on Education:

No Teachers for Rural School Districts – Jim Holt was the only State Senator to vote against providing incentives for recruiting and retaining teachers in small school districts with fewer than 1,000 students. The bill became law.  [Associated Press, 2/6/04; AR General Assembly, SB89, 2/4/04]

Gutting Rural School Funding – In 2003 Jim Holt proposed a state constitutional amendment that would have gutted the funding of small and rural school districts.  Under Holt’s constitutional amendment, the state would have no legal obligation to fund public schools and would only be supported by revenues collected by those residing in each school district. 
Under Holt’s extreme proposal, students living in poor school districts would receive less funding for their schools than students who resided in wealthier districts due to lower property value and the revenue it creates.  Holt’s amendment thankfully died in committee. [84th General Assembly Regular Session, SJR 20]

No Equitable and Adequate Funding for Schools –  Jim Holt voted against the Public School Funding Act of 2003 that created a new fair and equitable formula for distributing state aide to school districts, something the Supreme Court required after ruling that the formula the state had been following was unconstitutional, inequitable and inadequately funded. 
[Arkansas General Assembly, 1/6/04 Senate roll—call vote on SB 42; Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette, 1/7/04]

No Increased Funding for All Students – In this year’s Legislative special session, Jim Holt voted twice against increasing per-pupil funding.  First, Jim Holt was one of only two State Senators to vote against Senate Bill 5 which would have increased per pupil funding.   Second, Holt later voted against the final Educational Adequacy Act of 2006, which did increase per-pupil funding for all students in Arkansas’s public schools. Further, in 2005 Jim Holt once again voted against increasing per-pupil funding.   [SB 5, AR General Assembly Special Session, 4/4/06; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/39/06; Arkansas General Assembly, 4/12/05, SB 939]

No Pay Raise for Teachers – Jim Holt has twice voted against increasing the minimum teacher salary.  [2006 Special Session of the AR General Assembly, SB 5 & SB 27; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/4/06, 4/12/06]


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