States News Roundup
Juveniles convicted of crimes would be required to work up to 40 hours a week while serving their sentences under legislation passed almost unanimously earlier this month by the Arizona House of Representatives.
The bill, which will now be considered by the Senate, would require juvenile offenders to work 30 hours a week if they attend school and 40 hours a week if they do not.
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 50 to 3, would also require juvenile offenders to either pay restitution to their victims or to perform community service.
A bill that would have put a proposed constitutional amendment before Arizona voters to repeal tenure for the state's elementary and secondary teachers has died in the state's House of Representatives.
The bill was defeated by one vote on the House floor. Another bill that would streamline the dismissal process for tenured teachers has passed in the House and is now being considered in the Senate.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Hawaii's former superintendent of schools may be held liable for damages for firing an employee who publicly accused the department of education of failing to comply with federal civil-rights laws.
In its decision, the court ruled that Charles Clark was not protected under federal immunity statutes and remanded the case to district court for a new hearing.
The appellate-court decision, however, is being appealed by attorneys for Mr. Clark and Thomas Yamashita, director of the Hawaii edu-cation department's civil-rights office and also named in the lawsuit, according to Charlene Aina, deputy state attorney general.
The lower court ruled in 1978 that the First Amendment rights of two department of education employees were violated when their jobs were terminated.
A New Mexico House-Senate conference committee has cut funds from the legislature's budget that would have given the state's teachers a 5-percent pay raise.
Both chambers endorsed the elimination of the $14.3-million package from a $1.2-billion budget bill it sent to Gov. Toney Anaya.
The school code of Illinois has been challenged by a class-action lawsuit seeking to overturn provisions that allegedly unfairly limit K-12 school systems' access to local property taxes.
The Rockford School District has asked the Sangamon County Circuit Court to declare unconstitutional a portion of the state law that allows separate elementary and high-school districts--known as dual districts--greater combined tax rates than K-12 districts--called unit districts in Illinois. There are 451 unit districts in the state, and 436 elementary and 125 secondary systems.
Rockford claims that the school code gives dual districts greater access to local revenue sources by permitting them higher tax rates without voter referendum than unit districts are allowed.
The Illinois State Board of Education has tacitly acknowledged the disparity in legislative proposals aimed at enticing dual districts to consolidate. The board's plan would permit a newly formed unit district the same taxing authority that the separate districts enjoyed before consolidation.
The Texas State Teachers Association is backing legislation that calls for a $1.6-billion increase in teachers' salaries. Bills introduced in both houses of the state legislature early this month principally seek to raise entry-level pay.
Under the proposals, the beginning salary for a teacher with a bachelor's degree would jump from the current $11,110 to $14,500 in 1983-84, and from $14,500 to $15,100 in 1984-85. The beginning salary for teachers with master's degrees would jump from the current $11,880 to $15,500.
Hopes for passage of the bills were dampened, however, when the state comptroller released new figures last week showing the state's estimated revenues have dropped $800 million, said Jack Kelly, the association's legislative specialist.
Two years ago, Texas teachers also made a bid to increase salaries about $1.6 billion--and they succeeded, Mr. Kelly said, bringing Texas up to 25th among the states in annual teacher-salary levels.
Vol. 02, Issue 26