District News Roundup
A federal judge plans to order the Darlington County, S.C., school system to desegregate a historically black high school that some plaintiffs in the case wanted left alone.
U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie said last month that she will order Mayo High School--a locally revered institution that has remained mostly black--turned into a magnet school to attract more white students.
Judge Currie also said she would order the district to consolidate junior high schools and pair elementary schools to remedy racial imbalances that remained after a previous settlement in the case in 1970.
Chief Says 'Yes' to Buyout: The superintendent of the Hamden, Conn., public schools, who fled to Louisiana after his arrest on drunken-driving charges earlier this year, has accepted the school board's offer to buy out his contract.
Superintendent David Shaw agreed last month to resign his post in exchange for $93,000 in pay next year and $75,000 for each of the following two years.
He also agreed to drop the lawsuits he filed against the town and the school board, which had refused to reinstate him after he returned to Hamden.
Mr. Shaw pleaded guilty in March to the drunken-driving charges.
Strike Vote in Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has voted to authorize a strike when its contract expires next month unless the union and school board can resolve a dispute over medical benefits, seniority, class size, and the length of the school day.
The union, whose main sticking point is a four-year agreement with no change in its insurance coverage, is poised to strike on Sept. 1, said Mildred Ford, a union spokeswoman.
Talks between union officials and board members are continuing, although newly appointed Superintendent David W. Hornbeck is scheduled to begin presiding over the talks when he assumes his post Aug. 15.
Spending Investigation: Federal investigators last month raided the headquarters of Community School District 14 in New York City as well as two other sites as part of an investigation into how school officials in the ethnically mixed neighborhood are spending federal and state funds.
District officials and federal agents participated in the raid in Brooklyn.
There have been clashes between the district school board, made up mostly of whites, and the black and Hispanic groups whose children make up the majority of students. The school board majority has been aligned with the local Orthodox Jewish residents as well as the Catholic Church.
Federal officials would not elaborate on the investigation, but local administrators said that the use of federal Chapter 1 funds is being examined.
Ax Poised Over Activities: School officials in Parma, Ohio, outside Cleveland have informed voters that unless a property-tax increase proposal is passed next month, after-school activities will be slashed in the 13,000-student district.
In the past year, voters have turned down four levy increases. Without the new funds, district officials say they will fall nearly $5 million short of meeting their budget for the coming school year.
Anticipating the prospects of losing again, local activists are developing a pay-to-play plan that would allow the district's high school to field a football team and maintain some extracurricular activities.