States News Roundup
As any teacher can attest, the racket in a high school sometimes rises to an unbearable level.
Roosevelt High School in Honolulu used to be so noisy that it violated local noise-abatement regulations. As a result of complaints from neighbors, the state health department ordered the school to abide by a strict noise-abatement plan. The policy required that after-school use of the gymnasium be greatly restricted, much to students' dismay.
So student leaders invited legislators to hear their complaints. As a result, Senator Neil Abercrombie, chairman of the Senate education committee, and four other lawmakers have introduced a bill that would exempt public schools from state noise-pollution laws.
The policy is "entirely unreasonable," Senator Abercrombie said. "The people complaining are suggesting that kids engaging in school activities should be out in the street getting in trouble."
Unless the legislature takes action on the bill this week, it will die. But not quietly.
State senators in Idaho have voted down a bill that would have required private, parochial, and home schools to register annually with the state department of education.
The bill would have required the schools to inform the state superintendent of public instruction of their locations, enrollment totals, the number of grades offered, and the names of their administrators.
Supporters of the measure argued that the regulations were necessary in order for local school districts to plan and to predict enrollment.
But one senator who voted against it said that it attacked basic religious freedoms and represented an unwarranted effort on the part of the state to control private schools.
"Registration is a form of control," said Senator Atwell Parry. "It is a camel's nose in the tent and a foot in the door."
A district court judge in Freemont County, Wyo., has ordered State Superintendent of Public Instruction Lynn O. Simons to allow an Oregon school administrator to become school superintendent of the Riverton School District.
Judge W.J. Nicholas's ruling, which was issued on March 5, clears the way for Larry Barber to assume the position that he was first hired for more than two years ago.
State education officials denied Mr. Barber a superintendent's certificate, claiming that he did not meet the necessary requirements for the licensing of teachers or school principals.
In his decision, Judge Nicholas called the denial of the certificate "arbitrary and capricious." He also said that the state board of education violated administrative procedures and its own rules by denying Mr. Barber proper appellate hearings after turning down his application for certification.