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Federal Court Orders Review Of Mich. Union's Spending

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A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court to re-examine how the Michigan Education Association and its affiliates spend union dues.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on April 26 struck down a U.S. District Court ruling that accepted a union arbitrator's endorsement of dues calculations by the 140,000-member MEA and its affiliates.

Eighteen Michigan educators argued in a lawsuit that they were unable to determine whether the union used some of their dues for political purposes or other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

The teachers are not union members but are required to pay union dues for collective bargaining. They argued that the lower court had accepted the arbitrator's assessment without a thorough investigation.

Contracts for Savings

Ohio's public schools could save as much as $360 million a year if they used more private contractors, a study has concluded.

The report from the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, an independent, Dayton-based research group, found that 36 percent of the state's school districts use private contractors for such services. Those districts awarded contracts for about $100 million, or about 7 percent of total annual spending in those areas.

Supercomputer Whiz

A 16-year-old boy bested more than 800 New Mexico high school students in a statewide computer contest sponsored by two federal research laboratories.

Andrew Bowker, who is home-schooled in Edgewood, won a personal computer and a $1,000 savings bond for writing software for a supercomputer that creates three-dimensional moonscapes from satellite images.

Teams of students and teachers from more than 62 schools competed in last month's sixth annual New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge, in which students research a scientific problem, write computer software to solve it, and run their programs on supercomputers at the Los Alamos and Sandia research laboratories.

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