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Nebraska District Settles Girls' Title IX Laxsuit

A second Nebraska school district has settled a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of high school girls who claimed they were denied equal opportunities to take part in sports.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was reached last week but still requires court approval, the Minden district will field a girls' varsity softball team beginning next fall. District officials have also agreed to take steps to provide equal scheduling of games and practices, locker rooms, equipment, transportation, and publicity for boys' and girls' athletic teams.

The National Women's Law Center and Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, both Washington-based law firms, filed suit last year against Nebraska's Minden, Holdrege, Fremont, and North Platte districts, claiming they violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The law bars sex discrimination in education facilities that receive federal funds. (See Education Week, April 19, 1995.)

The plaintiffs settled the suit against the Holdrege district last August. The Title IX cases, which typically have been filed at the college level, are still pending in the other two districts.

Private Schools To Appeal

An Ohio private schools' group will appeal a federal court ruling that its members must give their students a graduation test mandated by the state.

The Jan. 30 ruling found that the state's compelling interest in an educated citizenry outweighed the schools' arguments that the 9th-grade proficiency test was too intrusive. (See Education Week, Feb. 7, 1995.)

John Raushenbush, the executive director of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools, said last week that the group has received telephone calls and unsolicited donations from all over the country supporting an appeal. That process could take months and cost about $60,000, he said.

New Catholic School

The first new Roman Catholic high school in Chicago in 33 years is scheduled to open next fall in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School will be a coeducational college-preparatory school for about 150 students and will offer a work-study curriculum. Students from the Pilsen/Little Village community will attend dual language classes in English and Spanish four days a week and spend one day a week working at Chicago-area businesses. The companies, in return, will help pay the students' tuition costs. (See Education Week, Nov. 22, 1995.)

There are currently 48 Catholic high schools in the Chicago area, with a total enrollment of about 34,000 students.

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