Update News

March 01, 1989 3 min read

Los Angeles teachers began turning in students’ report cards to the district last week, in order to avoid losing their latest paychecks.

Many members of United Teachers of Los Angeles had withheld official midyear grades from the district to protest stalled contract negotiations. But union officials last week advised teachers to turn in their report cards, after a county judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order barring the district from retaliating by withholding salaries. (See Education Week, Feb. 15, 1989.)

Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs said at a Feb. 17 hearing that she did not have jurisdiction over the dispute, which she maintained falls under the domain of the state’s public-employee-relations board.

Don Schrack, a spokesman for the union, said the utla will appeal the judge’s ruling, using one teacher as a test case.

Union members are scheduled to vote March 7 on whether they will accept the district’s latest contract offer or authorize a strike for later in the semester.

The Minneapolis school board is expected to vote this month on a proposal for an experimental new middle school that would combine academic studies with real-life experiences by holding classes in “learning centers” located throughout the community.

Students at the proposed Chiron School would attend classes on a year-round basis, spending nine weeks at a time at sites in museums, zoos, government offices, and other locations. They would engage in learning projects related to the site where their classes are being held.

The proposal is the result of an unusual competition sponsored last year by a group of business leaders, educators, and parents. The group promised to pay up to $6,000 for the best proposal for a school that put education-reform ideas into practice. (See Education Week, June 8, 1988.)

The winning concept was submitted by a local principal and a teacher. It also would abolish grade-level designations and place pupils in multi-age groups where individual students could progress at their own pace.

If the board approves of the idea, officials said the new institution could open as early as next fall, with 300 to 600 students in grades 5 through 8.

Gerard T. Indelicato, the former education aide to Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, has been sentenced to 7 to 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty to charges that he steered a state education department contract to an associate by forging documents.

Mr. Indelicato also pleaded guilty to three more counts of forgery, larceny, and conflict of interest related to his tenure as president of Bridgewater State College. For those charges, he was sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison, to run concurrent with the 7-to-10-year sentence.

Mr. Indelicato is currently serving a 30-month sentence in federal prison in connection with a scheme to defraud the state of $80,000 in adult-education funds. The new sentence will begin after the conclusion of the federal term. (See Education Week, May 4, 1988.)

For the second time in two years, Attorney General Robert Butterworth of Florida has accused dairy processors and distributors of illegally fixing the price of milk sold to public schools.

Acting on behalf of 20 school districts, the attorney general charged the dairy firms with conspiring to divide school contracts among themselves, thereby eliminating competitive bidding and setting artifically high prices.

The attorney general is seeking triple damages.

Charged as defendants were BarberDairies Inc., of Birmingham, Ala.; Dairy-Fresh Corp., of Greensboro, Ala.; Kinnett Dairies Inc., of Columbus, Ga.; and Bassett Dairy Products Inc., of Live Oak, Fla.

Another four companies and 34 individuals were named as unindicted co-conspirators.

In February 1988, eight milk processors and four distributors agreed to settle a similar lawsuit for $32.2 million. (See Education Week, Feb. 24, 1988.)

A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 1989 edition of Education Week as Update News