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Sweeping Spec.-Ed. Reforms Approved for Los Angeles

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A U.S. District Court judge last week approved an agreement that outlines major changes for the special-education system in the Los Angeles school district.

The agreement settles a 1993 class action filed against the nation's second-largest school system on behalf of all students in special-education or in need of such services. The suit charged that students with disabilities were not being served appropriately under federal and state laws. (See Education Week, March 20, 1996.)

The settlement agreement covers everything from how students with disabilities are identified and tracked to where they are educated.

The district expects to have most of the reforms in place by the 1997-98 school year.

Scholarships Suspended

Texas education officials have suspended a minority-scholarship program in the wake of a federal appeals court decision that limits the use of race in admissions decisions at the University of Texas Law School.

The March 18 decision, which struck down admissions preferences for black and Mexican-American applicants, has been called a major blow to affirmative action in higher education. (See Education Week, March 27, 1996.)

Some state legislators said last week that Commissioner of Higher Education Kenneth Ashworth was overreacting to the decision by suspending the $1.5 million minority-scholarship program, which benefits 1,300 students in state institutions.

Mr. Ashworth announced April 14 that he was suspending the program unless the U.S. Supreme Court grants a stay of the appeals court's ruling.

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