News Update

November 07, 1984 2 min read

The Michigan State Board of Education has asked the state attorney general’s office to file suit on its behalf against the Hudsonville School District. The district decided last month to continue Bible study classes following a court injunction barring a neighboring district from conducting the classes. (See Education Week, Oct. 24, 1984.)

The suit will be filed on Nov. 10 if the Hudsonville Board of Education decides to continue the classes when it meets to “revisit the subject” on Nov. 9, according to Gerald F. Young, Michigan’s assistant attorney general.

In a letter sent to the Hudsonville superintendent of schools, Jack D. Musser, Michigan State Superintendent Phillip E. Runkel wrote, “It is our desire that this matter be resolved amicably to the satisfaction of all concerned. However, it must be understood that should your school district continue the practice of permitting Bible Club instruction on school premises during the regular school day, the State Board of Education will be compelled to ask the Attorney General to bring a lawsuit on its behalf” to halt such action.

Convinced that sufficient progress has been made in the advancement of girls’ five-on-five basketball in Iowa, opponents of the six-player, half-court game that until May 1984 was the only form of interscholastic women’s basketball played in the state have decided to drop a federal lawsuit against the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. (See Education Week, Sept. 14, 1983.)

Five-on-Five Inc., a nonprofit citizen’s group that supports the version of the girls’ game that is played like men’s basketball, filed the suit last September, charging that the “six-on-six” rules violated the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The six-on-six rules, the organization contended, reduced the chances for girls to receive college scholarships, participate in interstate competition, and receive coaching in all aspects of the game.

Robert B. Smiley, assistant executive director of the girls’ athletic union, said that a change in its rules this year allowed school districts to decide what form of girls’ basketball they wanted to play. Some 490 schools have stayed with the six-player rules, while some 25 teams have decided to switch to five-on-five basketball, he said.

A federal judge last week ruled that the 288 members of the school boards in New York City’s 32 community school systems must comply with a new regulation of the city board of education requiring all senior school officials to fill out financial-disclosure statements each year. (See Education Week, Aug. 22, 1984.)

Judge Mark A. Costantino of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York upheld the reg-ulation, adopted by the board last summer after the resignation of Chancellor Anthony J. Alvarado, on the grounds that it would not violate the privacy of the board members, who are not paid for their work.

The New York City School Boards Association, which represents 28 of the city’s 32 community school systems, filed the class actionagainst the regulation, seeking an injunction that would stop the board education from removing school-board members who refused to complete the disclosure statements, according to Philip Kaplan, the association’s president.

The association is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this week. Mr. Kaplan estimated that half of the 288 community school-board members would not complete the disclosure statement.

A version of this article appeared in the November 07, 1984 edition of Education Week as News Update