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Education and the Supreme Court: The 1997-98 Term

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The U.S. Supreme Court decided only one case directly involving a school district during the term that ended last month, but it issued rulings in several other areas that could affect districts, school board members, employees, and teachers' unions.

The biggest education case this past term was one the justices never got to decide. Piscataway Township Board of Education v. Taxman was a long-running affirmative action case involving a school board's decision to lay off a white teacher in favor of keeping a black colleague with equal seniority. Shortly before the high court was scheduled to hear arguments last November, the Piscataway, N.J., school board settled the case after civil rights groups agreed to put up about two-thirds of the district's $433,500 settlement with Sharon Taxman, the white teacher who was laid off.

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