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Appealing to the "generosity and public spirit" of independent-school leaders, John E. Coons, the University of California, Berkeley, law professor who is an active proponent of parental choice in education, appeared this month before the National Association of Independent Schools' commission on educational issues to advocate educational vouchers.

Mr. Coons told the commission, which met in Cambridge, Mass., that tuition tax credits and deductions are of use to middle-class and wealthy families but will not greatly increase the number of "talented youth whose school choices will be effectively enlarged."

"For this to occur," Mr. Coons explained, "we would have to focus on the other end of the income scale--3and that means subsidies or vouchers."

Mr. Coons led an unsuccessful campaign to place an education-voucher initiative on the 1982 California ballot. The effort failed, Mr. Coons said at the time, mainly because the private-school community failed to support it.


The Philadelphia Board of Education has voted unanimously to extend the contract and raise the salary of Superintendent Constance E. Clayton.

The board voted last week to extend Ms. Clayton's contract for five years and to raise her salary from $68,000 a year to a minimum of $85,000 a year with salary reviews in 1986 and 1987, according to J. William Jones, a spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia.

Ms. Clayton has served as superintendent of the 200,000-student district since 1982.

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