Alabama Public Schools Closing?

If Gov. Riley's tax plan fails to get voter approval, State Superintendent Ed Richardson promises there will be serious consequences.

Richardson says he will order Alabama's 1,400 public schools to close Oct. 1, unless voters pass Gov. Riley's tax plan and unless legislators adopt an education budget.

And Richardson says he's not bluffing.

He says schools would remain closed until lawmakers approved and Riley signed a new budget for the 2004 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Richardson says, if voters reject Riley's plan Sept. 9, then legislators will have to be called into a special session.

He's urging superintendents across the state to sign a pledge that they will work each day until the tax referendum passes.