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The California Supreme Court has let stand an appeals-court ruling that gives broad policymaking power to the appointed state school board rather than the elected state superintendent.

The court late last month refused to hear an appeal of the case, which originated after several clashes between Bill Honig, the former superintendent of public instruction, and members of the state school board. (See Education Week, April 14, 1993.)

The struggle over whether the board or superintendent has primary power for setting education policy has flared up several times over the past century.

Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction William D. Dawson last week criticized the supreme court's action.

But Sharon L. Browne, the board's lawyer, said the decision will emphasize public participation in formulating education policy by giving power to a board rather than to an individual.

At the same time, a bill that would effectively overturn the appeals court's ruling has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the Assembly, where a committee was scheduled to hold its first hearing on the proposal last week.

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