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The Chicago Teachers Union and the city's board of education last Thursday reached a "tentative agreement" aimed at helping the school district balance its budget, raising hopes that schools in the 500,000-student district will open as scheduled on Sept. 8.

The agreement, the details of which were not available by late last week, was reached between the 24,000-member union and the school board following a marathon bargaining session that ended in the early morning hours of Aug. 26.

A spokesman for Mayor Jane M. Byrne stressed in an interview that "this is a tentative agreement only." He said that there were no plans to resume negotiations, and that union negotiators had not yet presented the agreement to its board of director for a vote of approval.

Denver superintendent of schools Joseph R. Brzeinski, faced with a projected 1982-83 shortfall of $13.9 million in a $224 million budget, has ordered a hiring freeze, a 3.5 percent across-the-board spending cut, and a freeze on purchases of any supplies "not directly associated with running the classrooms," according to a spokesman for the district.

In 1982-83, the total number of teaching, administrative, and clerical positions in the district will be reduced by approximately 212 for a total of 6,445 postions. The district expects to have 63,721 students in the coming year, 1,800 fewer than last year.

A former Los Angeles teacher who learned enough Spanish to pass the state's bilingual-teacher examination and then went back to school and earned a master's degree and doctorate in elementary education was recently denied a job in the city's schools because he was "not qualified."

The Los Angeles school system, which currently has a shortage of elementary-school teachers, requires applicants to have held a teaching job within the past five years.

Richard Brenner did not teach during the five years it took him to complete his doctorate, and thus did not meet the requirement.

Mr. Brenner's case was brought to the attention of Harry Handler, the district superintendent, who checked with his personnel office, only to discover that officials there were routinely denying jobs to otherwise qualified candidates who lacked recent teaching experience.

Mr. Handler ordered that Mr. Brenner be offered a job and that the policy be changed.

However, Mr. Brenner had already found a job as a hospital administrator. He reportedly said that, although he had wanted very much to be a teacher, he has no intention of leaving his new job, in which he makes nearly twice as much as he made in his last teaching job--five years ago.

Vol. 01, Issue 42

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