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For the 12th time in 11 years, an Oregon school district will be forced to shut its doors as a result of voter rejection of a school-tax proposal.

According to a spokesman for the state education department, schools in Forest Grove will close on May 21, 13 days ahead of schedule.

Voters in the 4,200-student district rejected a $790,000 levy request for current operating expenses by 11 votes out of about 4,000 cast in the March 31 election.

The state legislature recently approved a plan to create a "safety net'' for schools that would otherwise be forced to close in the wake of unsuccessful tax-increase elections. Oregon voters will determine the proposal's fate in a statewide election scheduled for May 19. (See Education Week, March 18, 1987.)

Kansas City voters have once again rejected a proposal to raise $10.8 million in new property taxes to finance the city school district's share of court-ordered desegregation costs.

The tax proposal, which would have raised the city's school levy by 37.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, was narrowly defeated on March 31 by a vote of 21,589 to

Voters also rejected a proposal that would have authorized the school district to issue bonds worth $65 million to finance court-ordered capital improvements.

A slim majority of voters approved the bond issue, but state law requires such proposals to be approved by a two-thirds majority.

Kansas City voters rejected similar tax and bond proposals in three elections last year. (See Education Week, Nov. 19, 1986.)

Four employees of the custodial department of the Los Angeles Unified School District charged with stealing at least $500,000 in school supplies were fired late last month by a unanimous vote of the district's board of education. Dismissed were James L. Riley, director of custodial operations, and Melvin N. Tokunaga, his top deputy. Two staff members--Joseph Brazile, a power-spray operator, and Robert Barrios, a senior gardener--were also fired.

The employees were charged last month with operating for three years a theft ring in conjunction with a supplier of weed killers and other chemicals.

The supplier allegedly "shorted'' orders of supplies to the school district, but charged the full amount and split the profits with the employees of the custodial department. (See Education Week, March 18, 1987.)

The body of Lawrence Kohlberg, a leading theoretician on the moral development of children and professor of education at Harvard University, was found washed ashore along the Boston harbor on April 6.

Mr. Kohlberg had been missing since mid-January, when he left a hospital in Cambridge, Mass., and never returned home. He is believed to have committed suicide. (See Education Week, Feb. 11, 1987.)

After his disappearance, Patricia A. Graham, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, issued a statement indicating that Mr. Kohlberg had suffered a recurrence "of a longstanding and painful medical condition.''

Ms. Graham said last week that Mr. Kohlberg's contributions to education were "far-reaching, and fortunately will be long-lived.''

A commemorative day celebrating Mr. Kohlberg's work will be held at Harvard next semester, she said.

Vol. 06, Issue 29

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