Cities News Roundup
An outbreak of measles in Dade County, Fla., that began Sept. 20 has now spread to 29 of the 94 schools in the southern part of the county, with 122 cases reported as of Nov. 10, according to health officials who are monitoring the outbreak.
On Nov. 8, school officials began excluding children whose parents could not verify the date that the child had been immunized. As of last week, 3,100 students had been excluded, according to Robert F. Adams, coordinator of comprehensive health programs for the Dade County Public Schools.
The outbreak, which has been concentrated in the southern part of the county, is the largest reported this year, according to Don H. Stenhouse, a public-health adviser for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. In the fall of 1981, an outbreak in San Diego resulted in several hundred cases of measles, and currently, an outbreak in Waco, Tex., has afflicted 96 people--most students at Baylor College--with the disease, Mr. Stenhouse said.
The outbreak has led to a change in the district's policy of what constitutes acceptable evidence of immunity, Mr. Adams said. A state law that went into effect on Aug. 1 required all students to show proof of immunity to the major childhood diseases. County officials had accepted statements signed by physicians that said that students had received all immunizations. However, since measles immunizations must be administered after a child's first birthday to be considered effective, school and health officials now require students to produce a certificate that gives the date of the measles immunization.
To date, health officials have immunized 8,559 children in the southern half of the county at clinics set up in junior-high schools. Although only a few cases have been reported in the northern part of the county, they are extending their immunization and record-checking efforts to the 160 schools there as well. A "no shots, no school," policy will go into effect Nov. 22, and officials project that about 5,000 students will be barred from school.
Reversing a policy established 15 years ago, the Montgomery County, Md., school board has voted to prohibit high-school students from smoking on school property as of September 1983.
The 5-to-2 vote came after an advisory committee and several parents' and students' groups had recommended retaining the smoking areas, where students may now smoke. The groups opposed the measure mostly because they believed it would be unenforceable, according to Sally Keeler, community relations coordinator for the district.
To help avoid that problem, the board asked Edward A. Andrews, the district's superintendent, to develop regulations that would put "teeth" in the smoking ban, Ms. Keeler said. The penalties may not be disciplinary, she said, but might include such measures as requiring those students caught smoking to watch a film on smoking and cancer.
In case some schools wanted to ban smoking sooner, the board added a measure that allows officials at each of the counties 22 high schools to phase out the smoking areas beginning in February 1983.
To make it easier for principals to enforce the measure, Mr. Andrews will ask the board to approve $330,000 to hire monitors for each of the schools. The monitors, Ms. Keeler said, would have other tasks besides checking for infringements of the no-smoking rule.
Boston school officials last week were still wondering whether they will be able to restore music, art and bilingual-education programs this year in view of the mayor's decision to veto a $4.5 million supplemental appropriation for the public schools.
The appropriation had been approved by the city council at the request of Mayor Kevin H. White. Mayor White had promised school officials the supplemental funds to restore the programs if school officials would agree not to add some $13 million earmarked for teachers' pay raises to the school department's base budget, according to Ian Forman, spokesman for the school department.
The city council, however, voted to add the $13 million to the base budget, which increased it to about $224 million, Mr. Forman said. By law, the city council must use this amount as the basis s school budget negotiations.
Mr. Forman said school officials are now uncertain that they will be able to recoup the $4.5 million vetoed by the mayor.
The New York City board of education has voted to keep Chancellor Frank J. Macchiarola in his job for two more years.
The board voted to extend the chancellor's contract from July 1, 1983, to June 30, 1985, with a minimum annual salary of $85,000.
Joseph Barkan, president of the board, cited improved "stability and morale" in the 904,000-student New York City school system, as well as improved student test scores, as reasons for the board's decision to retain Mr. Macchiarola.