It's Settled: A dozen Georgia teachers who were illegally fired when they failed a now-defunct teacher assessment have agreed to a $250,000 settlement in their lawsuit against the state. The test, the Teacher Performance Assessment Instrument, was ruled invalid by a court nearly three years ago, and in February, a state Superior Court judge held that the teachers could sue the state for damages.
Belt Tightening: The American Federation of Teachers has temporarily suspended AFT President Albert Shanker's paid "Where We Stand'' column, which appeared weekly in The New York Times and Education Week. The move is expected to save be- tween $35,000 and $40,000. According to an AFT spokesperson, the union is looking to trim expenses and concentrate its money in areas most helpful to members, who are beset by budget cutbacks.
Givebacks: The teachers, administrators, and support personnel of the Averill Park Central School District near Albany, N.Y., have agreed to give back portions of their pay raises negotiated for next year in order to save district programs from budget cuts. The givebacks are expected to save the district $180,000 to help cope with an expected loss of $600,000 in state aid.
Hot And Bothered: When temperatures along the East Coast soared above 90 degrees for more than a week this past May, the New Jersey Education Association placed advertisements in several of the state's newspapers to protest the lack of air conditioning in schools. The advertisements, which ran under the headline "Even Prisons Are Air Conditioned!'' asked, "When was the last time a business executive had to work in an office without air conditioning?''
Within The Law: A federal appeals court has ruled that a Catholic school in Pittsburgh did not violate federal civil rights law when it failed to renew the contract of a divorced Protestant teacher after she remarried in violation of Catholic teaching. The court held that a parochial school can "discharge a Catholic or a non-Catholic teacher who has publicly engaged in conduct regarded by the school as inconsistent with its religious principles.''