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Two more members have been added to the Commission on Precollege Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology established recently by the National Science Board, the governing arm of the National Science Foundation.

The new members are M. Joan Parent, a veterinarian from Foley, Minn., and first vice president of the National School Boards Association; and Joseph Row, vice president for technology for the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Fla., and former dean of engineering and provost at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Over the next 18 months, the commission is expected to develop an "action plan" to help solve the well-documented deficiencies in precollege science and mathematics education.

Oklahoma Gov. George Nigh has signed a $748.56-million appropriations bill for Oklahoma's public schools and the state department of education.

The amount represents a 21.3-percent increase over last year's state education budget.

Governor Nigh has also signed a bill--passed partially in response to an elementary-school explosion that took seven lives--requiring state inspections of water heaters in public schools.

The law calls for state inspection, in both private and public schools, of high- and low-pressure steam boilers, hot water boilers, and pressure vessels. In addition, hot-water heaters in the public schools must be inspected.

On Jan. 19, an 80-gallon hot-water tank exploded and tore through the cafeteria at Star Elementary School in Spencer, Okla., killing one teacher and six students and injuring 34 others. The explosion has been attributed to a faulty pressure-relief valve in the boiler.

Thirty lawsuits and claims have now been filed against the Oklahoma City school district in connection with the explosion at Star Elementary, according to Thomas Payzant, superintendent of the Oklahoma City schools.

The school board of Selah, Wash., has appealed an unprecedented superior court decision that ordered the payment of attorneys' fees and tutoring expenses of a high-school graduate who, because of a learning disability, can read only at the fifth-grade level.

In its appeal, which was filed on May 24 in the state court of appeals, the school board argues that 19-year-old Vickie E. Morris, who suffers from dyslexia, was provided "an appropriate education," according to Jack A. McKay, the district superintendent.

The school board's action is the latest attempt to have the lower court's January decision overturned. In March, the school board's request for a new trial, on the grounds that the district did not receive an impartial hearing, was denied.

Mr. McKay said that the state has joined in the appeal and that the case may bypass the appellate court and go directly to the state supreme court. The case, however, has not been scheduled for a hearing and could take up to two years to resolve.

Meanwhile, Ms. Morris, who wants to become a florist, is working part time stocking shelves at a hardware store and continues to receive private tutoring. As a result of the publicity the case has received locally, Ms. Morris's tutor has started a private school and hired four teachers to handle requests for her services.

Gov. Thomas H. Kean has announced that he will nominate a local school superintendent to be New Jersey's commissioner of education.

Saul Cooperman, currently head of the Madison school system in northeastern New Jersey, replaces Ronald H. Lewis, Governor Kean's original choice for the post. Mr. Lewis withdrew his name late last month after acknowledging that as much as half of his doctoral dissertation was copied from other sources.

Mr. Cooperman, who began his career in education in 1960 as a New Jersey high-school teacher, will take office on July 1 if he is confirmed by the state Senate.

Mr. Cooperman has been in his current job in Madison for eight years. He received a doctoral degree in education from Rutgers University.

Vol. 01, Issue 36

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