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D.C. Council Proposal Would Abolish School Board

At the urging of Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr., a District of Columbia city council member introduced legislation last week to abolish the school board and put the schools under the mayor and council's control.

Mayor Barry has argued that the city--which has a budget deficit of more than $720 million--cannot afford the school system without controlling its expenditures. (See Education Week, Feb. 8, 1995.)

William P. Lightfoot proposed the measure to abolish the elected and paid school board, create an unpaid Public Education Commission, and give the mayor and council control over the school system's budget.

Several school board members said last week that they opposed the plan.

E.A.I. Pullback

Education Alternatives Inc. has withdrawn its offer to manage the Pinckney, Mich., school system.

The for-profit company last year had reached a tentative agreement to manage the six-school southeastern Michigan district. (See Education Week, Jan. 19, 1994.)

In withdrawing from the agreement, the company cited recent changes in the school system's operations and the "continued animosity" of its teachers' union.

In other developments, an arbitration panel this month settled a dispute between the Hartford Federation of Teachers and E.A.I., which manages the Hartford district. The new one-year contract freezes salaries and requires teachers to contribute 5 percent of their health-insurance premiums. It also extends teaching time by 15 minutes a day and adds two days to the school year.

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