The state Board of Education is scheduled to consider Thursday the involuntary consolidation of the Hughes School District because its enrollment has fallen below 350 students. However, a new state law, adopted with emergency clause, exempts schools otherwise meeting standards from consolidation when they fall below 350 students.
There’s some local squabbling underlying this case. Hughes had petition to join with Forrest City, but the Forrest City School District withdrew from the deal in March.
The Hughes School District has filed a petition invoking the 2015 law as an argument against its consolidation.
Hughes contests that its enrollment fell below 350 for two consecutive years, but also says in invoking the new law: “…the District is not in fiscal distress and fiscal distress would be the only possible inhibitor to the District being granted a mandatory waiver.”