State News Roundup
The Indiana Ethics Commission is scheduled to discuss this week whether to investigate charges that the state's superintendent of public instruction solicited campaign money from employees and used campaign funds for personal use.
The Indianapolis News, after a three-month investigation of reports filed with the state elections board, has charged that Superintendent Harold H. Negley, an elected Republican official, misused campaign funds.
John B. Livengood, Democratic chairman, has asked the state ethics panel to investigate the allegation. Mr. Livengood has also called on Mr. Negley to dispel the charges or resign from office. And he has asked a group of educators and other citizens to work on setting up a system for finding an interim superintendent should Mr. Negley step down or be removed from office.
"[Mr. Negley] is so bogged down in this thing that the educational interests in the state are not being handled as they should be," Mr. Livengood said. "We need a strong advocate for education and we just don't have that."
Although criminal charges have not been filed at this time, a grand jury has convened to investigate the situation.
Neither the superintendent nor his aides were available for comment last week.
A career-ladder plan for Delaware teachers that was drafted by a Washington, D.C., consulting firm under contract with the state has been presented to the legislature.
The plan calls for a new statewide evaluation process and the awarding of bonuses to teachers who receive high ratings.
The consulting firm's plan, called for by a gubernatorial task force and paid for by the legislature, would increase the base pay for all teachers by an average of $1,500 over a three-year period and establish three career "rungs" for advancement, according to A. Douglas Rothwell, director of labor relations for the governor's office.
To be eligible for the career ladder, candidates would have to have eight years of teaching experience and have completed the three-year probationary period required of new teachers in the state.
After five years, a teacher who had advanced to "career level two" would make $3,000 more than the base salary, Mr. Rothwell explained; a teacher who had advanced to "career level three" would make $6,000 more than the base.
The firm of Cresap, McCormick, and Paget Inc. has recommended a six-year phase-in period; the firm estimates that the program would cost $4.2 million in its first year and $21.2 million each year after it is fully implemented.
Legislation based on the plan, which has been strongly criticized by the Delaware State Education Association, is now being drafted, Mr. Rothwell said.
A group of 118 Idaho citizens, in a full-page paid advertisement in the Idaho Statesman this month, encouraged legislators to increase funding for public schools and the state's colleges and universities.
The group, which identified itself as "Business Leaders and Other Citizens Concerned for Education," called on the Republican-dominated legislature to fund precollegiate education at $319.5 million, a figure $2.5 million above the 1984-85 appropriation and $13 million above the request of Gov. John V. Evans, a Democrat.
"Our failure to fund education at these levels would not only further damage the [educational] system but would breach the special trust that has in the past existed between Idaho's citizens and educators," according to the advertisement.
Those signing the advertisement included business leaders, former state legislators, newpaper publishers, and broadcast executives.
Closes a Loophole
The Kentucky Board of Education has approved a policy to eliminate "redshirting," a practice in which students deliberately repeat a year of school without athletic competition to be able to participate in sports when they are older and more physically mature.
Previously, if a student agreed to be held back for a year and not participate in sports, he would still be eligible for four high-school years and would be a year older than most classmates, according to Gary Bale, the state board's lawyer.
But the board proposes that students who are held back for a year also lose a year of eligibility even if they do not compete in interscholastic athletics.
The regulation, which goes into effect this summer after a public comment period, was originally proposed by an ad hoc study committee on athletics that included members of the state board and the high-school athletic association, and representatives of coaches', princi3pals', athletic directors', and superintendents' groups.
In its March 5 meeting, the board also voted to broaden control over athletics recruiting violations, defining "undue influence" as "any contact to try to influence students."
The board also extended recruiting rules to elementary schools as well as secondary schools, and ruled that administrators who are aware of violations must share with coaches the responsibility for reporting them.