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The Michigan Board of Education, as widely expected, has unanimously approved a sweeping set of reform recommendations by its School Finance Commission.

In a report released Sept. 22, the 42-member panel called on the state to lower property taxes by nearly 40 percent and at the same time to raise the sales tax to offset lost local school revenues. It also recommended a new aid-distribution formula; a mandatory core curriculum for all grades; state-board authority to take control of "academically bankrupt" districts; and a statewide "freedom of choice" program. (See4Education Week, Oct. 7, 1987.)

Most of the panel's recommendations will require legislative approval and voter backing for a constitutional amendment.

The Arizona Board of Education has rejected a proposal to strengthen its "no-pass, no play" rule governing student participation in extracurricular activities.

The proposal rejected by the board last month would have required students to pass all their courses before being allowed to participate in noncredit activities. The current rule requires districts to adopt policies of their own choosing.

Observers predict legislation will be introduced next year that would force the board to tighten its rule.

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