by Max Brantley
A press release rolled in from Asa Hutchinson about "excessive bussing" and we thought, at last, a sexy topic. But no, it's just more of his effort to whip rural areas into a frenzy over the settled issue of school consolidation. (Once more, congratulations to the current governor and his board of education for making high school curriculum a higher priority than demagoguery.) And look here for another reason to praise Huckabee on this issue.
As governor, Hutchinson said he'd require the Education Department to "set reasonable standards for bus rides for students living in rural and Delta communities." Rural and Delta? What's the diff? What is a reasonable standard? Should it trump academics? News release doesn't say. It does repeat the worst case scenario for soon-to-be-consolidated Paron High School, bus rides up to 95 minutes. But it doesn't mention the readily available options for Paron kids to cut that ride by a half or more by going to a district other than Bryant.
More bussing and less busing, that's our motto. But school quality comes first.