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Bell 'Unfreezes' Long-Delayed Grants

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Washington--After waiting for more than a year, 500 recipients of Education Department grants that were frozen by a federal judge will receive their money within the next two or three weeks, according to Sally H. Christensen, budget director for the department.

The department will use $58.5-million in newly approved fiscal 1985 funds to replace the fiscal 1984 funds that remain tied up under an order by U.S. District Judge Milton I. Shadur.

Judge Shadur first ordered the money frozen in June 1983 because of the federal government's refusal to pay a major share of the cost of a desegregation plan for the Chicago public schools. (See Education Week, Oct. 31, 1984.)

Judge Shadur's ruling was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Sept. 26, but the funds remain frozen pending the city's further appeal.

Under a plan initiated by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell two weeks ago--and approved by the Office of Management and Budget last week--"we're basically borrowing 1985 dollars for 1984 programs until 1984 money is freed up," Ms. Christensen explained.

The fiscal 1984 funds that are frozen include $17 million in the Secretary's discretionary fund and $41.5-million in funds for Title IV desegregation assistance, Follow Through, territorial teacher training, women's educational equity, and the Virgin Islands Aid program.

According to Michael Alves in the Massachusetts Desegregation Assistance Office, which is due to receive about $600,000, contingency funding on which many of the programs have survived for the past year was due to expire this month for many grantees.--jh

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