District News Roundup

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Mayor Raymond L. Flynn of Boston, predicting that thousands of new jobs will be created in the city in the years ahead, last week pledged ''a good job at a living wage" for every student who graduates from the city's public high schools.

Boston's strong economy should be capable of providing employment "for every young person willing to work," he said in an address marking the start of his second term.

To help fulfill his "very special pledge," Mr. Flynn said he would expand existing public-private partnerships, such as the Boston Compact, a six-year-old education-business collaborative aimed at finding jobs for high-school graduates.

In addition, he said he would soon announce the creation of a new "jobs academy" to provide training for people with inadequate skills.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is not legally bound to provide English-as-a-second-language classes to all the adults who apply, a California judge has ruled.

Some 30,000 adults are now on waiting lists for such classes, according to Carmen Estrada, a lawyer representing minority plaintiffs who filed a suit seeking more e.s.l. classes for the district's rapidly expanding immigrant population.

A provision in the state education code requires that adult-education classes be established whenever 20 or more people apply for a particular course, she said.

But Superior Court Judge Jerry Fields ruled Nov. 30 that the district had provided classes to the best of its ability and was not required by statute to serve all applicants.

Michael Johnson, a lawyer for the school district, said 200,000 adults are currently enrolled in the district's e.s.l. classes, about 52 percent of all those enrolled in its adult-education program. He said insufficient state funding prevented the district from serving all applicants.

Ms. Estrada said the plaintiffs probably would appeal the ruling.

Three New Jersey school districts will continue to observe a moment of silence before the start of classes despite the Dec. 1 U.S. Supreme Court decision that let stand a ruling that the state's law on the matter is unconstitutional.

School officials in the districts of Sayreville, Pennsville, and Woodbury say they will not change their moment-of-silence policies, which were put into effect before the legislature approved the practice in 1982.

In a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union last month, state Attorney General W. Cary Edwards said there were "legitimate secular reasons" for the districts' daily "contemplative moment," and that the policies were not enacted for religious purposes.

The Bremen, Ill., school district has won the right to prohibit male students from wearing earrings in school.

U.S. District Judge Paul E. Plunkett ruled Dec. 2 that the prohibition, part of a ban on various symbols and modes of dress identified with local gangs, was "rational" and nondiscriminatory.

The rule, which was challenged in a suit by a 17-year-old student, is part of a comprehensive policy designed to deter gang activity in Bremen schools, according to James E. Riordan, the district's superintendent.

Vol. 07, Issue 15 & 16

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