District News Briefs
Cleveland voters' rejection of a tax levy--the second such vote in six months--will force school administrators to cut into their classroom funds, officials said.
The district has pared $84 million over the past two fiscal years, said William E. Aldridge, the district's treasurer. But the latest round of cuts, an estimated $16 million, will be the first to affect funds that go directly to the classroom.
"We've stayed away from the classroom so far," he said. "But there's not much left for us to do but attack the instructional program."
The district faces a $29.5 million deficit in this year's budget and must give Ohio officials a downsizing plan to qualify for state emergency funds, he said.
City voters on Nov. 8 defeated a proposed school levy that would have generated some $44 million.
E.A.I. Posts Loss: Education Alternatives Inc. has blamed its recent losses on the costs of landing a contract to manage the Hartford, Conn., school system.
The Minneapolis-based company reported a net loss of $236,000 for the most recent quarter, compared with net earnings of $330,000 for the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.
The company said the results reflect marketing expenses and other costs related to negotiating a five-year contract to manage the Hartford district and its annual budget of $200 million.
In Baltimore, where E.A.I. manages eight elementary schools, a panel of educators commissioned by the company has concluded that students in the eight schools are achieving at higher levels than previously reported. The students also are improving at faster rates than other district students, the panel said.
Critics of the company remained skeptical, however, noting that the panel arrived at its figures after disregarding exceptionally low test scores it held to be of dubious validity.
Response to Student Drowning: A New York City 8th grader drowned during a field trip to an amusement park last summer because of "poor planning and even worse judgment" by school administrators and teachers, a report by the city school system says.
In response to the report, Schools Chancellor Ramon C. Cortines directed the Bronx community school district where the student was enrolled to fire the assistant principal who supervised the trip.
Daniel Maracallo, 14, was not under supervision by school staff members when he drowned in the wave pool at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa., last June. Daniel and 137 classmates went on the trip.
A report by the school system's special commissioner of investigation, Edward F. Stancik, says that Winsome Naylor, the assistant principal of Intermediate School 166, left the park before a search for Daniel had been completed, without exchanging telephone numbers with park employees.
Ms. Naylor's lawyer, Bruce Bryant, said last week that it was "reprehensible" to link Ms. Naylor to Daniel's death. Ms. Naylor did everything she could to try to locate the boy, he said.
The investigation also found that school officials failed to follow the district's written rules governing field trips.