Districts News Roundup

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The Cleveland Public Schools were closed by a strike late last week after contract negotiations failed to resolve differences between the school board and the 5,700-member Cleveland Teachers Union.

An extra day of negotiations during a snowstorm that closed the schools on the strike deadline failed to resolve the impasses between the union and the board, which center on salaries and the board's proposal to implement a career ladder.

On the snow day, the board offered to make the career ladder voluntary, rather than mandatory, according to a board spokesman.

A ctu official said the union remains concerned about the structure of the career ladder, including the number of extra hours and days that participants would be required to work, and about safeguards for teachers who opt not to participate.

Cleveland's teachers, classroom aides, and guidance staff have been working without a contract since last September.

The strike forced 72,639 students to stay home. The board of education plans to begin holding classes for graduating seniors this week at four sites, using principals and other certified administrators.

A federal judge has ruled that the Fort Worth school system may dismantle the remaining components of its mandatory busing plan by next September, ending 17 years of forced busing in the district.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Mahon last month acceded to the district's request for an end to mandatory busing, saying that "the disadvantage and inconvenience posed by this limited remedial measure outweigh its benefits, if any."

The busing plan currently affects only about 1,200 pupils in the 2nd and 3rd grades, out of a districtwide enrollment of almost 67,000 students. Mandatory busing for students in other grades was discontinued in 1983.

The Fort Worth Chapter of the naacp said it would appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. A negotiated settlement between minorityplaintiffs and the school board, which would have replaced busing with remedial programs for low-achieving students, fell through shortly before a December hearing on the district's request for an end to busing.

The ruling last month does not affect other parts of the desegregation plan, which include magnet schools, majority-to-minority transfers, and a change in school-board election procedures.

Officials in Anchorage are supporting plans by local Japanese business leaders to build a boarding school that would enroll both the children of Japanese nationals working in Alaska and children from Japan.

The school would be sponsored and supported by a Japanese university.

Last month, Keio University of Tokyo announced that it would open the first Japanese high school in the United States, to be located on the campus of Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y.

Anchorage officials said last week that the Japanese had not yet found a sponsor or site for the high school.

They said, however, that the city may donate municipal land near one of its twosities for the private school.

The school would be financed and maintained by the Japanese, and would offer a traditional Japanese curriculum.

More than two-thirds of the school buses in Boise, Idaho, have mechanical problems, according to a survey conducted by the state police and the state department of education that was released amid allegations of improper inspection procedures.

The study released late last month also charged the Boise School Bus Co., which holds the contract for transportation services in the district, with maintaining poor record keeping and inadequate driver-training programs.

The study was issued a day after a former employee of the company claimed he was told to alter dates in reports to make it appear that the company was complying with a state law requiring bus inspections every 60 days.

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