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Some 3,700 students have transferred to new school districts in Minnesota in the first year of a two-year phase-in period for the state's highly touted open-enrollment program, state officials reported last month.

The number represented a substantial increase over last year, when a total of 435 students successfully sought transfers under an earlier version of the program that did not mandate school-district participation.

Only districts enrolling 1,000 or more students were required to participate in the program this year, but all districts will be required to allow student transfers beginning in the 1990-91 school year. (See Education Week, March 15, 1989.)

Other choice programs operated by the state attracted almost 12,000 participants. Approximately 6,000 high-school juniors and seniors enrolled full or part time in post-secondary institutions, 4,000 students attended state-funded "area learning centers," and 1,800 students who had either dropped out or were considered severely at-risk enrolled in schools of their choice under the high-school graduation incentives program.

The principal and football coach at Carter High School in Dallas, who have been leading figures in the long-running controversy over the "no-pass, no-play" rule in Texas, have been reassigned.

The principal, Clarence C. Russeau, has been transferred to an administrative post in the school-district office.

Freddie James, the football coach, has been reassigned to the district athletic department pending a school investigation into allegations that he knowingly allowed an ineligible player to compete in interhigh games, according to a district spokesman.

Both Mr. Russeau and Mr. James were involved in last fall's battle between Carter High officials and Commissioner of Education William N. Kirby.

Mr. Kirby charged that Mr. Russeau changed the grade of a star football player at Carter High so he could play under the "no-pass, no-play" rule. The commissioner then declared the player ineligible, and school officials went to court to overturn the decision. A state district judge ruled in favor of the district last summer. (See Education Week, Aug. 2, 1989.)

Marvin Edwards, the district superintendent, said Mr. Russeau's transfer was unrelated to the controversy.

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