District News Roundup
The Wake County (N.C.) Board of Education has adopted more stringent standards than the state requires for student participation in sports and other extracurricular activities.
The district thus becomes the largest in North Carolina to go beyond the state's mandate on extracurriculars.
The rules, to take effect in the 1986-87 school year, will require students who want to participate in a sport or other extracurricular activity to attend 94 percent of their classes. More than five unexcused absences in a 90-day semester would render a student ineligible.
High-school students also must pass four subjects each semester--three of them among the courses required for graduation--to be eligible to participate in activities during the next semester. Most students take six courses per semester.
The state department of public instruction's standards, which were imposed this year, apply only to participation in athletics. The state rules require students to have a 75-percent attendance rate and to earn passing grades in four courses each semester.
Only a handful of districts have imposed a higher standard.
The American Red Cross honored the students, faculty, and administrators of the Los Angeles Unified School District late last month for raising more than $366,000 to help provide food and housing for the survivors of Mexico's devastating earthquakes this fall.
"About 50 percent of our students are Hispanic, and many of them have friends and relatives in Mexico," said Patrick Spencer, a spokesman for the district. "Everyone wanted to do something when we heard about the earthquake."
Fund-raising efforts included talent shows, dances, snack sales, and movies, according to Mr. Spencer.
The board of education unanimously approved a fund-raising drive four days after the first earthquake, at the suggestion of Larry Gonzalez, a board member who represents the heavily Hispanic area of East Los Angeles.
At the ceremony honoring the school district's effort, Mr. Gonzalez said: "The students did what we cannot do; we cannot legislate compassion, the compassion for human beings." The students "had little to give in terms of money, but they shared what little they had with people who had nothing," he said.
A school-bus driver has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault,4and drunken driving following an accident in St. Louis last month that killed 2 students and injured 12 others.
The driver, Mark Trice, was transporting students from a suburban high school to their homes as part of the St. Louis area's metropolitan desegregation program when the Nov. 11 accident occurred. Witnesses have charged that Mr. Trice was racing with the driver of another vehicle before his bus slammed into a concrete pillar, according to Margaret L. Polcyn, a spokesman for the district.
One of the injured students, Elliot J. Parker, 16, is suing the bus driver, the driver of the other vehicle, and the bus company for $7.5 million, according to Ms. Polcyn. The youth suffered a concussion and scalp cuts in the accident. Ms. Polcyn said she expected other students to file suits also.
Blood tests taken four hours after the accident indicated that Mr. Trice had alcohol, marijuana, and pcp (phencyclidine) in his system, according to Ms. Polcyn.
The accident was the first since the desegregation plan was initiated five years ago, Ms. Polcyn said.
The association that represents middle-management personnel inthe School District of Philadelphia has withdrawn an unfair-labor-practices complaint that it filed late last month against the district, but the two parties remain stalemated on efforts to reach an agreement.
The Philadelphia Association of School Administrators, which represents some 740 district employees, had accused officials of failing to bargain in good faith, but withdrew the complaint this month after Superintendent of Schools Constance E. Clayton issued a report that moved the two sides closer to an agreement, said Frank Hauser, an assistant to the president of pasa.
pasa has been seeking more than 100 changes in its current agreement with the district.
The board of education has offered pasa the same pay raises it recently gave to Philadelphia's 19,000 teachers--a 4 percent increase effective Oct. 15, and 6 percent increases on March 1 of 1986 and 1987--but pasa wants the agreement to specify that managers will earn more than the personnel they supervise, including teachers.
According to William C. Thompson, the executive director of communications for the district, "The board says such a policy is objectionable because it damages the status of classroom teachers."
He also said the district cannot afford many of pasa's demands; the pay raises for teachers and other personnel will require an additional $236 million over three years, he said.
Vol. 05, Issue 14