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The Holbrook (Ariz.) Unified School District has agreed to end at-large voting and create two predominantly Navajo wards for school-board elections beginning in 1990.

The action followed a suit against the district by the National Indian Youth Council of Albuquerque, N.M. The group had charged in federal court that an Arizona law requiring the at-large election of school-board members violated the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act.

The five-member board of the Holbrook district has never had a Navajo member, even though the district's population is about 42 percent Navajo. Under the settlement agreement, two wards will be created in the Navajo reservation north of Holbrook. One ward will be 96 percent Navajo and the other 65 percent Navajo. The settlement is expected to fuel other challenges to the at-large school boards in the state.


The New Haven Board of Education is battling with the city government over authority to allocate school funds.

The board, which has voted to file suit against the city, argues that the municipal Capital Projects Committee usurped board authority by acting to cut the school budget by $400,000. The board had sought those funds to buy new furniture for its central office.

The city agency claimed that state law provides that all capital expenditures--such as the purchase of new furniture--be part of the city's capital budget, and not of the school board's budget.

But the board has line-item authority over school-related expenditures, Superintendent of Schools John Dow Jr. maintained.

As "advocates for children," he said, the board must be "the body that determines how funds are spent."

"This year, it's furniture for the central office," he said. "What if next year we need to build two new schools to relieve overcrowding?"


Baltimore schools should combat a recent rash of violence by using hand-held metal detectors to search high-school students for weapons, an advisory panel has recommended.

In a report presented last week to Superintendent Richard C. Hunter, the 25-member Citizen's Committee for Safer Schools also called for increased parental involvement in the school system, the imposition of dress codes in secondary schools, and the establishment of alternative programs for violent students.


Nearly a third of the slots in the Prince George's County, Md., magnet-school program will be assigned by lottery next year, the school board has decided.

Board members voted to select 30 percent of students at random from mailed applications in hopes of reducing the long lines that plagued the "first come, first served" registration system used last fall, said Brian J. Porter, a spokesman for the Washington suburban district.

Many parents were angered by the lines, which formed four days before registration opened.


The roof of a school in Topeka, Kan., was heavily damaged and schools were closed in three states as at least 49 tornadoes and snowstorms hit the Midwest last week.

No one was seriously injured at Topeka West High School after the tornado shattered the school's windows. Snowstorms with gusts up to 50 milles per hour closed some schools in Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota.


A 14-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., junior-high-school student was killed this month when a truck hit her school bus.

Dade County school officials said that Shakira Cruz was killed almost instantly when a flatbed truck backed into a school bus carrying about 40 Nautilus Junior High School students.

It is the first school-bus accident to result in a fatality in Dade County. Two other students were injured in the incident.

Officials say the truck driver was driving without a legal license and faces criminal charges in the accident.


The principal of a New York City elementary school has been arrested for allegedly purchasing several vials of "crack" cocaine.

Matthew Barnwell, who was charged with criminal possession of an illegal substance, has been principal of P.S. 53 in the Bronx since 1972. Following his arrest, Mr. Barnwell was reassigned by the community school board to duties in the local district office.

Mr. Barnwell had been suspended from his job at least once for reasons unrelated to drug use and was under investigation by the New York City Board of Education, said Robert Terte, a spokesman for the board.

Mr. Terte said Mr. Barnwell is believed to be the first principal in the city system to be arrested on drug charges.

Arizona District Agrees To Drop

At-Large Elections for School Board


The Holbrook (Ariz.) Unified School District has agreed to end at-large voting and create two predominantly Navajo wards for school-board elections beginning in 1990.

The action followed a suit against the district by the National Indian Youth Council of Albuquerque, N.M. The group had charged in federal court that an Arizona law requiring the at-large election of school-board members violated the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act.

The five-member board of the Holbrook district has never had a Navajo member, even though the district's population is about 42 percent Navajo. Under the settlement agreement, two wards will be created in the Navajo reservation north of Holbrook. One ward will be 96 percent Navajo and the other 65 percent Navajo. The settlement is expected to fuel other challenges to the at-large school boards in the state.


The New Haven Board of Education is battling with the city government over authority to allocate school funds.

The board, which has voted to file suit against the city, argues that the municipal Capital Projects Committee usurped board authority by acting to cut the school budget by $400,000. The board had sought those funds to buy new furniture for its central office.

The city agency claimed that state law provides that all capital expenditures--such as the purchase of new furniture--be part of the city's capital budget, and not of the school board's budget.

But the board has line-item authority over school-related expenditures, Superintendent of Schools John Dow Jr. maintained.

As "advocates for children," he said, the board must be "the body that determines how funds are spent."

"This year, it's furniture for the central office," he said. "What if next year we need to build two new schools to relieve overcrowding?"


Baltimore schools should combat a recent rash of violence by using hand-held metal detectors to search high-school students for weapons, an advisory panel has recommended.

In a report presented last week to Superintendent Richard C. Hunter, the 25-member Citizen's Committee for Safer Schools also called for increased parental involvement in the school system, the imposition of dress codes in secondary schools, and the establishment of alternative programs for violent students.


Nearly a third of the slots in the Prince George's County, Md., magnet-school program will be assigned by lottery next year, the school board has decided.

Board members voted to select 30 percent of students at random from mailed applications in hopes of reducing the long lines that plagued the "first come, first served" registration system used last fall, said Brian J. Porter, a spokesman for the Washington suburban district.

Many parents were angered by the lines, which formed four days before registration opened.


The roof of a school in Topeka, Kan., was heavily damaged and schools were closed in three states as at least 49 tornadoes and snowstorms hit the Midwest last week.

No one was seriously injured at Topeka West High School after the tornado shattered the school's windows. Snowstorms with gusts up to 50 milles per hour closed some schools in Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota.


A 14-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., junior-high-school student was killed this month when a truck hit her school bus.

Dade County school officials said that Shakira Cruz was killed almost instantly when a flatbed truck backed into a school bus carrying about 40 Nautilus Junior High School students.

It is the first school-bus accident to result in a fatality in Dade County. Two other students were injured in the incident.

Officials say the truck driver was driving without a legal license and faces criminal charges in the accident.


The principal of a New York City elementary school has been arrested for allegedly purchasing several vials of "crack" cocaine.

Matthew Barnwell, who was charged with criminal possession of an illegal substance, has been principal of P.S. 53 in the Bronx since 1972. Following his arrest, Mr. Barnwell was reassigned by the community school board to duties in the local district office.

Mr. Barnwell had been suspended from his job at least once for reasons unrelated to drug use and was under investigation by the New York City Board of Education, said Robert Terte, a spokesman for the board.

Mr. Terte said Mr. Barnwell is believed to be the first principal in the city system to be arrested on drug charges.


More than half of the public schools in Pawtucket, R.I., violate state guidelines for racial balance, according to state officials, who have begun pressing the district to remedy the problem.

Nine of Pawtucket's 15 schools violate regulations requiring each school's minority enrollment to fall within 10 percentage points of the district's overall average, the officials said. The district's enrollment currently is 17.5 percent minority.

Although state officials have known of the violations for more than a year, they said they decided to act this month after local voters rejected a proposed merger between the Pawtucket schools and those of nearby Central Falls--a union that would have substantially altered the overall racial makeup of the district.

The state will require Pawtucket to submit by next spring a plan for bringing its schools into compliance with the regulations, officials said.

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