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Ballot Box: Shanker for Clinton; Nothing formal; Remap blues

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Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, last week used his weekly paid newspaper column to urge New Yorkers to vote for Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas in the Empire State's Democratic Presidential primary.

Mr. Shanker argued that a "protest'' vote would be a vote for President Bush and "the status quo,'' and that the flat tax proposed by Mr. Clinton's chief rival, former Gov. Jerry Brown of California, would be disastrous for public-school budgets.

The union president also praised Mr. Clinton's work on the national education goals, contending that he led the governors in "forc[ing] President Bush to abandon his photo-op approach to the education summit and negotiate real goals for American education.''

Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary, said in a television interview last week that she is not interested "in any kind of paid position, or Cabinet position, or anything formal or official.''

Ms. Clinton said she would like to "work on the issues that I've been involved in for more than 20 years: primarily children and families issues, and public education.''

She was responding to Mr. Clinton's statement that she would have a senior position in his Administration if he is elected--a post some observers speculated might be Secretary of Education.

Several influential members of the House and Senate education committees appear to be victims of the reapportionment that took place after the 1990 Census.

Michigan lost two House seats, and several incumbents were left on the horns of a dilemma when a panel of judges released a redistricting map March 24.

One of them, Representative Carl D. Pursell, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing education spending, announced immediately that he would not run for re-election.

The remap placed Mr. Pursell's home residence in the district where Representative William D. Ford, the Democrat who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, is likely to run. But Mr. Ford may have to move his residence, since his hometown is now located in a neighboring district, which includes primarily territory now represented by Representative John D. Dingell, another powerful committee chairman.

Representative Dale E. Kildee, who chairs the Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education, may also face electoral difficulty as a result of the remap. Another Democratic incumbent, Representative Bob Carr, must decide which new district to run in, and one of his options includes most of Mr. Kildee's current territory.

Montana also lost one of its two House seats, and Representative Pat Williams, a liberal Democrat, will have to run against a conservative Republican, Representative Ron Marlenee.

Mr. Williams is a former chairman of the Select Education Subcommittee and the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee. He gave up the latter post when Mr. Ford became chairman of the full committee and wanted the higher-education gavel as well.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected Montana's argument that the current reapportionment method, adopted by the Congress in 1941, produces districts that vary too widely in population among the states.--J.M.

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