City News Roundup
The Justice Department has gone to court once again to prevent a school district, upset over cuts in federal impact aid, from charging tuition of military personnel for the education of their children.
Federal attorneys announced on Oct. 29 that they had filed suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District, which is surrounded by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The lawsuit seeks to prevent the district from charging West Point personnel $528 per year for each of their children in its schools. Approximately 19 percent of the district's total enrollment consists of students from the base. In its only high school, which has an enrollment of 635, 36 percent of the students come from West Point families.
The district mailed out its first tuition bills to parents of the children last Monday. School officials voted to adopt the tuition plan last month after learning that the district's projected fiscal 1983 impact-aid appropriation would be just shy of $300,000, approximately half of what it received in fiscal 1979.
In September, the Justice Department filed a similar lawsuit against the Onslow County School Board in Jacksonville, N.C., which had voted to charge tuition for the children who live at the nearby Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base.
Six teachers who were dismissed from Los Angeles public schools in 1954 for failure to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee will be symbolically reinstated and awarded a $200,000 settlement by the local school board. The money will be divided among the teachers, and used to pay legal fees.
One of the six teachers is dead and one is currently teaching in the district. The others are expected to resign voluntarily when they are reinstated in their jobs.
The teachers' dismissals had earlier been upheld by California courts. The firings were allowed under California's Dilworth Act, which was used as the basis for dismissing people who did not cooperate with Congressional committees of inquiry.
In 1977, two of the teachers applied to the district for reinstatement and back pay for the period from 1954 to 1977. That claim was denied, and the teachers filed a suit that was eventually merged with a similar suit filed subsequently by the four other dismissed teachers.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge upheld the original dismissal, but said the teachers should have been considered for reinstatement in 1977. Both sides entered into negotiations on how much back pay would be awarded. The school board approved the final settlement on Nov. 1.
The Dilworth Act has not been used since the early 1960's, according to a spokesman for the school district.