h Members of the Florida School Boards Association voted this month not to endorse the petition drive being mounted by those who favor a state lottery for education. (See Education Week, Sept. 18, 1985.)
The lottery initiative, spearheaded by former Commissioner of Education Ralph Turlington, could add some $300 million to education coffers, Mr. Turlington told school-board leaders in remarks before the vote. But Raymond Shelton, superintendent of Hillsborough County4schools, countered that state sponsorship of a lottery would "send mixed signals to our young people ... that some gambling is all right."
School superintendents in Virginia's Tidewater area are warning that a proposed statewide magnet school for the fine arts may not open in 1987 as scheduled if state officials fail to come up with construction or renovation funds.
The Governor's Magnet School for the Arts--which would be located in Norfolk and would train about 300 students from the city and seven nearby school districts--is one of 11 planned by the state. Only 1 of the
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11--the Governor's Center for Educational Innovation and Technology in Henrico County--is currently in operation. (See Education Week, March 27, 1985.)
According to George Raiss, administrative assistant to Norfolk's superintendent, Gene Carter, state officials have approved funds for planning and operating the school but not for construction or renovation. The superintendents of the districts to be served by the school have held preliminary discussions with state officials in an effort "to shake some money loose," he said.
The Michigan legislature is expected to complete action this month on a measure that would require all prospective teachers to pass minimum-competency tests in order to receive teaching credentials, beginning in 1991.
The Senate approved the measure on Dec. 6 and the House was widely expected to pass the bill last week, according to Ned Hubbell, a spokesman for the education department. Mr. Hubbell said the bill has the support of the state board of education and a variety of statewide education groups, including the Michigan Education Association, the Michigan School Boards Association, and the Michigan Association of School Administrators.
Last month, the state board voted to require all new teachers to requalify for certification every five years. That proposal has yet to be approved by a joint committee of the legislature. (See Education Week, Nov. 27, 1985.)
Two more school districts in Oregon will hold emergency levy elections this week in an attempt to raise funds to remain open.
Gresham Union High, which will ask for $4.8 million, and Dayton, which is seeking $612,000, will close at the end of the month if voters do not approve the levies, according to Larry Austin, a spokesman for the state education department.
In other levy action, the Port Orford-Langlois and the Sandy districts, which closed this fall when voters failed to approve levies, have reopened after citizens approved the funds in subsequent elections. Voters in the Greater Albany and Gresham districts approved levies this month.
Four additional districts--David Douglas, Union, Burns, and Newberg--will hold levy elections next March, according to Mr. Austin.
He attributed the districts' fiscal problems to the state's depressed economy, the failure of Oregonians to approve a property tax in September, and cuts in federal aid to education. (See Education Week, Sept. 25, 1985.)
State education officials in New Jersey this month launched an investigation into the Newark school board's contract settlement with former Superintendent of Schools Columbus Salley. (See Education Week, Nov. 13, 1985.)
After a court order blocked the efforts of a newly elected school board to fire Mr. Salley, he agreed in October to resign in return for a $660,000 settlement--$125,000 for the final three years of his contract, $300,000 to settle a defamation-of-character suit he filed against the board members who had voted to oust him, and $235,000 for legal fees, according to Lloyd Newbaker, the special assistant to Commissioner of Education Saul Cooperman who is heading the investigation. The inquiry is expected to be completed early next year.
Vicki Donaldson, the Newark school board's general counsel, said the investigation probably would not find fault with the board's actions because the settlement was reached under the supervision of a superior-court judge.
The committee charged with devising an evaluation system for Alabama's newly approved career ladder for teachers has extended its deadline by two weeks because of disagreements between the teacher and nonteacher members of the panel.
Last month, the committee chairman appointed a "conference committee" of three teachers and three school administrators to try to reach a compromise between the plans offered by each faction. (See Education Week, Nov. 27, 1985.)
A teachers' union official said last week that "significant progress" had been made and the conferees felt they might work out their differences if given more time. A state education official said, however, that "few of the substantive issues have been resolved" and the two groups "are just about as far apart as they were when the conference committee was appointed."
The whole committee, on which the teachers have a majority, was expected to vote on the evaluation plan early this week even if no compromise had been reached.
Coal-fired boilers that have been linked to air-quality problems at three New York City public schools will be converted to another fuel or replaced, city and school officials have announced.
The boilers, which burn soft coal, were installed by the board of education in two elementary schools in Queens and one in the Bronx in the spring of 1984 as a "fuel-efficiency and cost-cutting experiment," city8officials said.
But Harrison J. Goldin, the city comptroller, said in a report last month that coal dust from the burners threatened the health of students and school employees. Problems with the boiler in one Queens school led to a three-week boycott by students. (See Education Week, Nov. 20, 1985.)
Mayor Edward I. Koch and Schools Chancellor Nathan Quinones announced this month that during the summer vacation, all three boilers will be "converted permanently to another fuel to meet the city's environmental standards."