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Rochester, N.H., school officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that schools must educate all handicapped children, regardless of how little they might benefit or how severe their disability.

The case, Timothy W. v. Rochester School District, involves a 14-year-old boy who is multiply handicapped and so severely retarded that experts disagree as to whether he could benefit from special education.

The lower court's ruling in the case last May is thought to be the first such decision to address the question of whether federal special-education law requires schools to educate all children, even those, like Timothy W., who might not benefit from it. (See Education Week, June 7, 1989.)

Rochester school officials contend that they should not be required to "waste scarce public resources on expensive special education" for such children. A spokesman for the district said the Court will decide by December whether to consider the case.

A popular book by Dr. Seuss has won a reprieve in California.

Rather than bow to parents' requests to remove the book The Lorax from the 2nd-grade required-reading list, the board for the Laytonville (Calif.) Unified School District voted unanimously earlier this month to ask Brian Buckley, the district's superintendent, to review the list and suggest any changes he deems necessary.

Some parents in the small logging town had suggested that the book should not be required reading for young children. The children, they said, are troubled by the apparent conflict between the story's conservationist theme and the reality that many townspeople earn their living from logging. (See Education Week, Oct. 4, 1989.)

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