Update News Roundup
Va. Board Members Indicted After Refusing To Step Down
Two Virginia Beach, Va., school board members have been indicted after refusing to resign following an investigation by a special grand jury. The probe concluded that their "attitude of fiscal unconcern and recklessness" had left the district with a $12.1 million deficit last year.
The February investigation called for the resignation of seven board members who "failed to exercise their oversight responsibility during the course of the fiscal year." (See Education Week, March 13, 1996.) Five of the members targeted have since resigned, but Ferdinand Torentino and Tim Jackson refused.
The two now face a trial and possible fines of $250 each if they are found guilty on misdemeanor charges of malfeasance in office.
Improvement Plans in Baltimore
The Maryland state school board has approved an educational-improvement plan for 35 Baltimore city public schools, forestalling a possible state takeover of the schools.
State education officials had ordered earlier this year that the schools, which have performed poorly on statewide tests, be overhauled or lose local control. (See Education Week, Jan. 31, 1996.)
The improvement plan, submitted by district officials this month, is the first of many steps that the 104,000-student system must take to avoid losing authority over the targeted schools.
The district must submit a more detailed school-improvement plan for each of the troubled schools by May 15, said Ronald A. Peiffer, a spokesman for the Maryland education department.