Update News Roundup

June 14, 1995 1 min read

A lack of money has forced Superintendent David W. Hornbeck to drastically scale down his plans to overhaul the Philadelphia school system.

The superintendent, who had envisioned radical districtwide reform, now plans to seek substantial changes next school year in only a fourth of the city’s public schools.

The district could not get nearly enough money from the city or state to pay for Mr. Hornbeck’s initial reform plan, which carried a price tag of $120 million in its first year. (See Education Week, 2/15/95.)

The revised plan, approved last month, anticipates just $40 million in new money. Most will be used to help the targeted schools launch new programs and reorganize into smaller learning communities.

Arson Arrest in Ala.: The son of a leader of the racially charged protests that centered on the principal of an Alabama high school has been charged with burning down the school last summer.

Federal officials arrested Christopher Lynn Johnson, 25, on June 1 after a federal grand jury indicted him in the August fire at Randolph High School in Wedowee. The fire, which destroyed the school, followed months of racial turmoil sparked by allegations that Hulond Humphries, the school’s principal, called a mixed-race student “a mistake.” The principal had also sought to bar mixed-race couples from the prom. (See Education Week, 9/7/94, and related story .)

Mr. Johnson’s father, the Rev. Emmett Johnson, has denied his son was involved in the arson. Rev. Johnson helped establish alternative schools last spring for students boycotting classes at Randolph High to protest Mr. Humphries’s remarks.

Mr. Humphries has been reassigned to oversee the building of the new school.

A version of this article appeared in the June 14, 1995 edition of Education Week as Update News Roundup