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Gov. George Deukmejian last month signed California's sweeping education-reform bill, but vetoed the appropriation for the second year of the program. (See Education Week, July 27, 1983.)

To give himself "flexibility" in dealing with the state's finances, Mr. Deukmejian deleted a provision in the bill that would have provided a $1.9-billion increase in the 1984-85 education budget. This year's budget includes an $800-million hike.

Under state law, the Governor "can blue-pencil any appropriation," said an official in the state depart-ment of education.

However, James Smith, deputy state superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said Governor Deukmejian had "indicated that he will look favorably on those programs" that require additional funding.

The reform package, promoted by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig, raises teachers' salaries, extends the school year, strengthens graduation requirements in all major subjects, gives local districts greater flexibility in firing teachers and expelling or suspending disruptive students, and provides more money for textbook purchases.

The North Carolina State Board of Education has given the final go-ahead to two school districts that volunteered to extend the school year and the school day on an experimental basis. (See Education Week, July 27, 1983.)

The two districts, Polk County and Halifax County, were the only systems that responded to the state's call for volunteers. Students in both districts will begin school on Aug. 15.

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