The U.S. Supreme Court has broadened its review of an Illinois law that restricts minors' access to abortions, but may yet decide to dispose of the case on a technicality.
In an April 7 order, the Justices asked the lawyers in the case, Hartigan v. Zbaraz (Case No. 85-673), to file new briefs in preparation for oral arguments in the fall. Arguments had been scheduled for early this month, but the Court canceled them without comment. (See Education Week, April 8, 1987.)
The law requires girls under age 18 seeking abortions to wait 24 hours after notifying their parents of their intentions. It also allows state judges to waive the notification requirement if they determine that the abortion would be in the girl's best interest.
The Court originally agreed to consider the constitutionality of the 24-hour waiting-and-notification requirement only. In its order this month, the Court asked the lawyers to file new briefs on the law's judicial bypass provisions.
It also directed the lawyers to discuss whether the lower federal-court proceedings in the case were "sufficiently final'' to permit it to take jurisdiction.
In another case before the Court, the U.S. Justice Department filed a brief last week arguing that a state lawmaker lacks legal standing to challenge a federal appeals court's ruling that struck down New Jersey's "moment of silence'' law as unconstitutional.
Assemblyman Alan Karcher, the former Democratic speaker of the state General Assembly, lost his right to pursue the case when Republicans gained control of the chamber and he lost his leadership post, the department argued in papers filed in the case, Karcher v. May (No. 85-1551). But, the department added, if the Court decides that Mr. Karcher retained his standing, it should then rule that the law does not violate the First Amendment's prohibition on government establishment of religion.
In accepting the case in January, the Justices said they would rule on the jurisdictional issue after hearing oral arguments in the fall. (See Education Week, Feb. 4, 1987.)
The Court cited a similar procedural issue last year in handingdown a ruling that did not address the constitutionality of the Williamsport, Pa., school board's decision to bar high-school students from holding voluntary religious meetings on school grounds. (See Education Week, April 2, 1986.)
In settling a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department, 22 North Carolina counties agreed earlier this month to submit for the department's approval any changes in procedures for electing school-board members. The suit alleged that, since the late 1960's, the counties had ignored the requirement for prior clearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (See Education Week, Dec. 17, 1986.)
If the department's reviews find that electoral changes had the effect of diluting minority voting strength, federal authorities could order new school-board elections, according to a Justice Department spokesman.
A private-school principal in Montgomery County, Md., who fled the state after he was arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy surrendered to county police on April 8. (See Education Week, March 18, 1987.)
Bail has been set at $7 million for David Harrington, a former principal of the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington. He has also been charged with molesting three other youngsters and faces theft charges for allegedly absconding with $10,000 in school ski-trip funds.
Mr. Harrington told police that he left the area on March 2 and embarked on a "nostalgia trip'' that took him to Rhode Island, where he was born and attended college, and to Vermont, where he once taught school. According to Cathy Starling, a county police spokesman, Mr. Harrington said he also flew to Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
A District of Columbia appeals court last week upheld a 1985 lower-court decision awarding $250,000 to a girl who was abducted from an elementary school and raped. (See Education Week, June 5, 1985.)
The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, contended that the school district was negligent for leaving doors and gates open at the Plummer Elementary School, located in an area with a high crime rate. Eight years ago, a man forced the girl, then a 4th grader, to leave the building with him after a teacher assigned her to monitor a classroom. The girl was then assaulted in a wooded area behind the school.
The court rejected the school's claim that it could not have foreseen the attack and taken appropriate preventive action, according to Patrick J. Christmas, the plaintiff's lawyer.
George Margolies, legal counsel to the district's superintendent of schools, said last week it was too early to know whether the city would appeal the decision.
The 750-member Philadelphia Association of School Administrators and the city's board of education have agreed to a pact that, in effect, ends a two-year battle over salaries and several other issues, association and district officials said last week.
Under the terms of the document of "mutual understanding,'' administrators will receive a 6 percent salary increase retroactive to March 1, and another 6 percent raise next March. In addition, the district has agreed to study and revise the district's pay scales, which, PASA officials claim, enable some teachers to earn more than the administrators who supervise them.
In exchange, PASA has agreed to a performance-appraisal and merit-pay system sought by the district.
Last fall, in an attempt to gain some leverage in its dispute with the district, PASA voted to affiliate with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the troubled national labor union. (See Education Week, Oct. 22, 1986.)
Daniel J. McGinley, president of PASA, said last week that he believed that vote was instrumental in reaching the agreement. A spokesman for the district declined to comment on the assertion.
A California Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring a teachers' union from continuing a strike it has conducted intermittently for the past five months against the Compton Unified School District.
The March 8 ruling by Judge Ricardo A. Torres was based on a preliminary opinion by the state's public-employment-relations board declaring the recurring one-day walkouts by the Compton Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, an unfair labor practice.
Union officials said last week that they planned to appeal the injunction, which prohibits any further strike activity by the union or its members until the labor board issues a final ruling on the strike's legality. That process could take up to two years, according to a lawyer for the board.
On March 17, Judge Torres issued a temporary restraining order that was the first in the state to bar a strike by a teachers' union following the completion of state-required "impasse'' proceedings. (See Education Week, April 1, 1987.)
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 a theft ringin 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 custodial workers. (See Education Week, March 18, 1987.)
A New York City public-school principal engaged in "highly inappropriate'' behavior when he borrowed $6,000 from a teacher two years ago and refused to repay the loan, a disciplinary panel has found.
Dominick Lavelle, principal of Intermediate School 111 in Brooklyn, was fined $4,500 by a three-member panel this month. The panel said Mr. Lavelle had tried to keep the money by telling the teacher, who was seeking a promotion at the time, that he considered it a contribution to his father's campaign for a school-board position. (See Education Week, March 5, 1986.)
The panel said Mr. Lavelle's actions introduced "an odious element into the supervisor-subordinate relationship.'' His brother repaid the loan in February 1985.
Three employees of the central school board who investigated the incident for Schools Chancellor Nathan Quinones had recommended to the panel that the principal be fired. They are expected to appeal the decision to the state commissioner of education.
A high-school booster club in Laguna Beach, Calif., that paid a football coach $3,000 for conducting a workshop last summer may have done so in violation of state school-athletic regulations, according to a local school official.
The California Interscholastic Federation, which sets and monitors rules governing high-school athletics in the state, is investigating the action by the Laguna Beach High School booster club, according to Stan Shiply, director of educational services for the school district.
Federation regulations prohibit any payments to coaches that have not been formally approved by the local school board or student government.
District officials, who were aware of the payment to the coach, Cedrick Hardman, "misunderstood'' the rules, Mr. Shiply said, adding that "nothing was done underhanded.''
Mr. Hardman, who is no longer associated with the district, was the center of another controversy last fall. Following his arrest in September on drug-related charges, the school board voted to allow him to return to his duties if he participated in a drug-rehabilitation program.
That decision prompted a local citizens' group to launch an effort to recall the four board members who voted to allow his return. (See Education Week, Dec. 17, 1986.)
To proceed with that effort, Mr. Shiply said, the group must collect the signatures of 3,515 local voters by the beginning of next month.