District News Roundup

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School security guards in Philadelphia public schools are now allowed to make arrests on school property.

More than 200 security personnel, after completing a 40-hour training course at the Philadelphia Police Academy, were commissioned as private patrol officers Feb. 4.

The move to give more authority to school-security officers is the second phase of the Philadelphia School District's new "Operation Stop'' program to reduce the vandalism of school property, said Elliott Alexander, information specialist for the school district.

The cost of repairing school facilities damaged by vandals amounted to about $3 million last year, Mr. Alexander said.

The first phase of Operation Stop was instituted last August when the school district set up a 24-hour hotline to the city police department. People can use the hotline to alert police and school-security guards to suspicious activity around school buildings.

School officials are expecting the program to reduce vandalism considerably, Mr. Alexander said.

New York City officials have begun to discuss the concept of comparable worth in city jobs, including those of teachers. A City Council hearing earlier this month focused on discrepancies in pay between predominantly female and predominantly male jobs.

During the hearing, which was headed by City Council President Carol Bellamy and Borough President Andrew J. Stein of Manhattan, witnesses warned that if the city did not begin to examine the issue of pay equity, it might face a lawsuit similar to the one that found Washington State guilty of wage discrimination and ordered the state to pay an estimated $1 billion in back pay and salary increases.

The state is appealing the decision. (See Education Week, Nov. 23, 1983.)

During the hearing, witnesses highlighted what other states and cities are doing in the area of comparable worth.

Council members also heard additional testimony on new approaches to the problem, according to Deborah Fauntleroy, assistant to the president of the City Council.

Pamela Stone Cain, an assistant professor of sociology at Hunter College, suggested that the city consider nonsexist job counseling at the high-school level and continued affirmative-action programs.

Juan Ortiz, a representative from Mayor Edward I. Koch's office who attended the hearing, told council members the Mayor's office is looking into the ramifications of conducting a citywide job-evaluation study, Ms. Fauntleroy said.

Vol. 03, Issue 22

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