BILL HALTER NEWS RELEASE
"Saying I haven't protected rural schools is like my primary opponent saying, I'm a tax and spend liberal,” Holt told the Associated Press yesterday. But Holt failed to disclose several of his own anti-rural school votes.
“Jim Holt’s legislative record proves that he has often opposed the best interests of our rural schools,” said Bud Jackson, Halter campaign spokesman. “In the State Legislature, Jim Holt voted against recruiting highly-qualified teachers for rural schools. He even proposed a constitutional amendment that would have gutted the funding of some rural school districts.”
“Jim Holt also opposed increased school funding, which is crucial to providing all
Holt’s fib as a protector of rural public schools comes on the heels of his flip-flop on school consolidation. Holt last week voiced his adamant opposition to school consolidation even though he supported it as recently as 2002, even suggesting that
“Jim Holt can’t be trusted to fight for rural schools and he apparently can’t be trusted to be completely truthful with Arkansans,” said
“The more Arkansans get beyond his inflammatory rhetoric and actually learn about his record, the more they understand that Jim Holt is not on their side,” continued
Jim Holt’s Record Against Rural Schools:
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,
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
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,
No Funding for Poor School Districts - Jim Holt was just one of four Senators to vote against an appropriations bill that provided $2.08 billion in grants and aid to local school districts. The bill, which became law, also included $132 million in funding for that the state planned to allocate to schools based on their concentrations of poor students. [SB 79, AR General Assembly,
Holt’s Revolving Position on School Consolidation – Holt last week voiced his adamant opposition to school consolidation but he supported it as recently as 2002 and even suggested that
But in 2002 Holt supported consolidation for the very same reasons he now opposes it.
“Why couldn’t we have 100 school districts based upon school enrollment?” asked Jim Holt in 2002. [
The Democrat-Gazette reported that “State Rep Jim Holt, vying to switch state legislative bodies, would cut the number of school districts by two-thirds, which he said would save on administrative salaries and provide more money for teachers." … On the issue of school consolidation Holt said that rather than 310 the state should have something closer to 100 school districts.” [