States News Roundup
Some Oregon students could be spending more hours in school each year under a new rule being considered by the state board of education.
The proposed change would replace the state's minimum requirement of a 175-day school year with a rule specifying the total amount of annual instructional time for each grade level. Students in grades 9-12 would have to receive 1,020 hours of instruction each year. The requirements for other levels would include 930 hours for grades 4-8, 840 hours for grades 1-3, and 435 hours for kindergarten.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Verne A. Duncan said the change was proposed after surveys taken across the state during the 1987-1988 school year showed wide variations in the amount of time students spent in class.
The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing this month.
"Turf" battles between unions representing Pennsylvania teachers and government employees would come to an end under a new, three-year "no raid" agreement.
Leaders of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees agreed last month that if one union already represents employees of an office or institution, the other will not attempt to organize there.
Organizations whose employees are not represented by either union will continue to be fair game for both.
Under the agreement, the teachers' union, an affiliate of the National Education Association, will have exclusive jurisdiction over education professionals while afscme will have the franchise for non-education government employees.
But both unions will be allowed to organize all other employees, including such education-support personnel as secretaries and cafeteria workers.
Affiliates of the nea and afscme have forged similar agreements in a number of other states.
Record cold temperatures in Alaska have forced school closings for as many as one-third of the state's public-school students, according to state school officials.
Harry Gamble, a spokesman for the education department, said last week that schools had closed in 33 of the state's 55 districts in recent days, resulting in canceled classes for an estimated 35,000 students. Nine districts closed all of the public schools within their boundaries for one or more6days, he said.
A record-shattering cold-air mass trapped over the state for more than two weeks caused temperatures in some areas to dip to 100 degrees below zero, with the wind-chill factor. The cold air began moving into the lower 48 states around the middle of last week, according to weather reports.
Arizona middle- and high-school students must earn passing grades in all courses to be eligible for extracurricular activities, a new state rule says.
The rule also bars students from dropping courses they are likely to fail in order to maintain their eligibility for athletics and other activities.
For the past two years, the state has allowed school districts to set their own eligibility standards. But critics complained that some districts were letting students who failed a course continue to participate as long as they had an overall C average.
The legislature voted last year to require the state board of education to set statewide standards. The board did so last month.