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A smaller version of the Supreme Court case concerning free schooling for the children of aliens is before the Vermont Department of Education.

Fran and Jerry Steinberg, Canadian citizens who own a home and pay taxes in Wakesfield, Vt., are appealing the local school board's decision that their five children are not entitled to a free public education.

The children, ages 8-13, are all adopted; three are North American Indians, one is Vietnamese, and one is Haitian. Their parents have not been granted permanent U.S. residency by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and under regulations adopted last year by the state education department, the family is not entitled to "school residency status."

Kimberly Cheney, a lawyer retained by the American Civil Liberties Union to represent the family, says the issue is not one for the local school board to decide. "This is a federal question," she said, but there has been no word of federal action. According to Charles Adams, a lawyer representing the town, the question is not a constitutional issue but one that should be settled on the basis of the family's immigration status.

Meanwhile, federal immigration authorities have turned their attention to the case and ordered the family to leave the country within 30 days. The Steinbergs hope to have that deadline extended while their application for permanent residency is under consideration.


The Illinois State Board of Education has narrowly rejected a resolution chastising the Reagan Administration for its policies on school desegregation.

The board's five-member administrative committee had earlier given unanimous approval to the resolution expressing concern over a speech by William Bradford Reynolds, assistant attorney general for civil rights, in which he said the Administration would oppose mandatory busing to achieve racial balance.

Proponents of the measure could muster only seven of the nine votes needed for passage.

Board members who opposed the resolution stressed, however, that their action did not signal a retreat from the board's past strong support for desegregation. They said they did not believe that the resolution was an effective way to react to federal policies.

As an alternative, it was suggested that Donald G. Gill, state superintendent of education, be directed to relay to federal officials the board's high priority on desegregation and its expectation of a vigorous effort by the U.S. Justice Department to enforce school integration.


Still hot off the presses, a newspaper written by, for, and about young people has been created in North Carolina. The four-page tabloid paper, called underAge, is believed to be the first statewide effort of its kind, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Some of the topics covered in the first three issues--scheduled for distribution in January, February, and March--include education, legislation, youth employment, teen-age sexuality, relationships, juvenile justice, and other subjects of concern to young people. The newspaper will be distributed to secondary schools throughout the state.

The project, based in the Youth Involvement Office of the state department of administration, is financed with a grant from the state Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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