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The Dallas school board last month approved Superintendent Marvin E. Edwards's initial list of 10 schools to participate in a pilot site-based-decisionmaking program.

The program, known as "school-centered education," will begin in the fall and operate for two years before a decision is made on whether to expand it.

Fewer than 40 of the district's 194 schools volunteered to participate in the program, in which teachers and other staff members, parents, and community members form school-community councils to provide oversight for school policy in consultation with the school principal, according to Rodney Davis, director of information services.

Councils will be made up of 9 to 23 members with no more than half the membership consisting of school employees. At the high-school level, students will also be included.

Individual schools will be responsible for curriculum design, scheduling, and budget-making, among other tasks.

When Mr. Edwards unveiled his plan last winter, he proposed starting with 20 schools, but the school board pared back his request to 10 schools. (See Education Week, Jan. 9, 1991.)

The former superintendent of schools in Atlanta has filed suit against the school board, alleging racial discrimination in his dismissal last July.

J. Jerome Harris had served for approximately two years before the board removed him, citing a lack of teamwork under his tenure. The board agreed to continue paying his $112,500 annual salary until his contract expires in 1992. (See Education Week, Aug. 1, 1990.)

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia, seeks $750,000 in damages, according to Warren C. Fortson, the school board's lawyer.

A school-district official said the board members were notified of the suit late last month.

Mr. Fortson termed the suit "less than a lawsuit and more of an absurdity" and said the board would file a response this month.

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