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The Duluth, Minn., school district has agreed to settle its lawsuit against W.R. Grace, an asbestos manufacturer, a lawyer with the law firm representing the district said last week.

He declined to disclose the amount of the settlement, which was reached after one day of court testimony early this month.

The district, in its opening argument, had asked for $4 million to pay for the removal of asbestos from Duluth Central High School. In its suit, the district claimed that the company knew about the health risks posed by asbestos when it sold the school system a fire-proofing spray containing the cancer-causing substance.

The settlement is the latest in a series that school districts have reached with asbestos manufacturers. (See Education Week, June 10, 1987.)


A trial-court judge in Manhattan has refused a request to temporarily block a school-board plan to decentralize special-education services for the majority of New York City's handicapped students.

According to a lawyer for the New York City Board of Education, state Supreme Court Judge Beatrice Shainswit last month rejected a request for a preliminary injunction to bar the city's 23 community school districts from assuming control this fall of the special-education programs in their districts. One central agency currently administers those programs.

A coalition of eight local educational and advocacy groups had requested the injunction as part of a lawsuit filed in April. They argue that the plan violates federal and state laws protecting the rights of the handicapped. (See Education Week, May 6, 1987.)

A final decision in the case, Judge Shainswit said, could come "as late as six months'' from now.


John T. Agresto, the current deputy director of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has asked the Reagan Administration to withdraw his nomination to head the National Archives. His selection had encountered stiff resistance from scholars, and his nomination has been languishing since last fall. (See Education Week, Oct. 15, 1986.).

Mr. Agresto, who served under Secretary of Education William J. Bennett during Mr. Bennett's tenure as director of the N.E.H., was criticized as a lackluster scholar who would politicize the archives--allegations that he has denied. For the foreseeable future, Mr. Agresto said, he will continue his job at the humanities endowment.


Bonnie F. Guiton was to be sworn in early this week as assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, and will assume her new post immediately, according to an Education Department spokesman.

The Senate confirmed Ms. Guiton's nomination without incident on June 5, two days after the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee had approved it. (See Education Week, June 10, 1987.)

A former vocational-education student, Ms. Guiton has a background in higher education and corporate management, and currently serves on the U.S. Postal Rate Commission.

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