States News Roundup

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Eight candidates have filed to challenge Wilson C. Riles in his attempt this year to win re-election for a fourth four-year term as California's state superintendent of public instruction.

Mr. Riles is also president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The official list of candidates for the June 8 primary election was released last week. The challengers are Janet L. Allen, an educator and businesswoman, Sutter Creek; Jeanne Baird, "educational/creative adviser," Los Angeles; Richard E. Ferraro, member of Los Angeles board of education, former Los Angeles high school teacher, and instructor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Bill Honig, member of the California state board of education and superintendent of the Reed elementary school district in Marin County; Myron Lieberman, education writer, school-board negotiator, and former professor of education at the City University of New York and the University of Southern California, Modesto; Georgia Marshall, principal of the Jane Addams Elementary School in the Lawndale elementary school district, Redondo Beach; Daniel Nusbaum, educator and musi-cian, Long Beach; and Gene Prat, former administrator at San Fransico State University, former chief of staff to Senator S.I. Hayakawa and a former education adviser to President Reagan, San Francisco.

If none of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, the two candidates with the largest number of votes will face each other in the general election on Nov. 2.

The state of Indiana must pay for the busing of students in order to desegregate Indianapolis-area schools, a federal appellate court has ruled.

The state legislature, in merging Marion County's municipal governments--but leaving its school districts intact--helped to create racial segregation in the Indianapolis city schools and surrounding suburban districts, ruled a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Therefore, the judges said in a 2-1 opinion, the state must bear the cost of busing approximately 5,500 black children from city neighborhoods to six suburban districts.

Indiana plans to ask the Supreme Court to review the decision, which upheld an order by U.S. District Judge Hugh Dillin. State officials estimate the cost could run as high as $12 million this year.

The Seventh Circuit's decision, in the 14-year-old case called U.S. v. Board of School Commissioners, came within two weeks after the Supreme Court let stand another appellate court's ruling on state liability in busing cases. In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had found Ohio partially liable for past segregation in the Cleveland and Columbus schools.

Anne Campbell, Nebraska's commissioner of education, has announced that she will retire after nearly eight years in the post.

"I just think there comes a time" to leave, said Ms. Campbell. She is expected to retire by the end of 1982.

Since her days as a county superintendent earlier in her career, Ms. Campbell has promoted consolidation of small schools--a controversial position in her rural state.

The commissioner is past president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a former president of the American Association of University Women, and former chairman of the Agency for Instructional Television. Before being appointed commissioner in 1975, she also worked for the Lincoln public schools and for the University of Nebraska.

Ms. Campbell is also a member of Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell's National Commission on Educational Excellence and of a national panel that is studying secondary education under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

"I would hope that I brought some credibility and integrity," Ms. Campbell said, to the schools' "march toward excellence and equity."

The state board, which will appoint Ms. Campbell's successor, has not yet begun a formal search for a new commissioner.

After years of imposing special curricular requirements on schools, Oklahoma's Senate has endorsed a "back-to-basics" plan.

The Senate approved a measure that would require a minimum amount of instruction in basic skills and would allow districts to choose whether they will offer certain other subjects that are now mandatory.

The Senate's plan, contained in amendments to House Bill 1816, is next scheduled for House review.

The bill says that it is the legislature's intent that at least two-thirds of students' time in grades 1 through 8, and one-half of high-school students' time, be devoted to basic skills. These are defined as reading, writing, English, arithmetic, citizenship, history, and government.

The bill would also make voluntary the teaching of many subjects that have accumulated because of legislative action over the years, including the history of blacks and other minorities, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, drug-abuse education, the American economy, and programs on Oklahoma Statehood Day and Bill of Rights Day.

A federal judge has declined to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting the state of Nebraska from closing the Faith Christian School in Louisville for failure to comply with state standards.

The plaintiffs, a group of parents whose children attended the school, also asked that the school be exempted from orders to comply with state teacher-certification requirements.

According to Cass County Attorney Ronald D. Moravec, U.S. District Judge Richard Robinson gave the lawyer for the plaintiffs a week to present any new evidence in the case, after which time he said he would probably dismiss it.

The school and its pastor, the Rev. Everett Sileven, have been involved in a lengthy certification battle with the state education department that at one point resulted in Mr. Sileven's brief jailing.

The school is still closed, and the children who attend it "apparently are at home," according to Mr. Moravec.

The U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., has temporarily barred a rural school district from reimbursing parents for sending their children to parochial schools.

Chief Judge Raymond J. Pettine said that he was "almost 100 percent certain" that he would find the reimbursements unconstitutional when he hears the case on its merits. Therefore, he granted a temporary restraining order sought by the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The decision overturns an October ruling by the state commissioner of elementary and secondary education, Arthur R. Pontarelli, requiring the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District to pay a ninth-grader's tuition at the St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. The district has no high school and pays tuition to the neighboring town of north Kingston for each student it sends to the public high school there. It also reimburses tuition payments to parents electing to send their children to other public high schools.

But Judge Pettine said that the reimbursements for parochial schooling appeared to be unconstitutional because they were "unrestricted," meaning that the parochial school could use the public funds "for totally religious purposes."

Michigan's treasury officials have approved a $20-million cash advance for the Detroit school district, ending the prospect of a payless payday for the district's 21,000 workers.

State Treasurer Loren E. Monroe announced that he would release enough state aid to the school district by April 6 to allow Detroit school officials to meet their biweekly payroll.

"We do not want the largest school district in the state to miss a payday," Mr. Monroe said. "We just can't let that happen."

Detroit school workers faced the likelihood of no paychecks on April 6 because of a decision by state officials last month to delay school-aid payments normally made on April 1. To ease the state's cash-flow problems, treasury officials moved to split April payments, paying half on April 20 and half on May 3.

That decision created an instant financial crunch for many of Michigan's 579 school districts. State school-finance experts predict that 22 school districts may have trouble meeting expenses in April.

Only Detroit, however, is likely to receive its aid before April 20.

"Some other districts have asked," Mr. Monroe said. "But to my knowledge, no others have shown as dramatic a need as Detroit. No others appear unable to borrow the money from the banks."

Web Only

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories