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A federal grand jury last week charged four men with conspiring to sell "adulterated and putrid" meat to wholesale dealers who had contracts with schools, hospitals, and Air Force bases in Arkansas, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The 31-count indictment alleges that between October 1980 and February 1984, the men, who are associated with a pet-food company and a meat-processing plant, purchased beef that was unfit for human consumption, according to Joel M. Friedman, the lawyer in charge of the Philadelphia Strike Force, which is part of the organized-crime section of the U.S. Justice Department. The men allegedly sold as much as 15,000 pounds each week to wholesale dealers, Mr. Friedman said.

The dealers had contracts with school districts in Delaware, including the Red Clay School District in Wilmington, the Brandywine School District in Claymont, and the Colonial School District in New Castle.

The strike force, the federal grand jury, the U.S. Agriculture Department, and local officials began their investigation of the dealers in December 1983; customers were notified last February that the beef they received might be contaminated.

There have been no allegations that the wholesale dealers knew they were selling contaminated meat, Mr. Friedman said. He also noted that there have been no charges that anyone became ill as a result of eating the meat.


Individual initiative and outstanding performance by the nation's teachers should be compensated, U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials suggested last month at their annual fall meeting.

The chamber's board of directors has adopted the recommendation of its education, employment, and training committee that school systems institute merit-pay plans and bonuses for teachers to "keep the best and improve the rest," said James Campbell, chairman of the committee.

"We are not naive enough to believe that private-sector compensation practices can or should completely replace the existing systems," Mr. Campbell said in his report to the board, "but we do believe that individual initiative and outstanding performance by teachers must be compensated."

Business leaders, as key decisionmakers in many school systems, should promote such practices, Mr. Campbell added.


Corporations contributed a record $1.29 billion to education in 1983, according to a new annual survey.

That figure is an increase of $40-million, or 3.2 percent, over the previous year, but it is the smallest increase in corporate giving to education since 1975, according to the Council for Financial Aid to Education and the Conference Board, the sponsors of the survey.

The estimates include giving to all levels of education. The report, "Corporate Support of Education 1983," is based on findings from a survey of 471 corporations.

"Over the past four years, corporations have increased their giving to education 46.6 percent, even though profits dropped 19.6 percent during that period," said John R. Haire, president of cfae, in a statement with the release of the report.

The organizations estimate that education received the largest share--43 percent--of corporate giving to all causes in 1983. That giving total is estimated to have been over $3 billion, or 1.48 percent of the corporations' net pre-tax income in 1983.

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