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After adopting a change that would add $53 million in aid to urban districts with large numbers of disadvantaged pupils, the Connecticut board of education voted this month to send the legislature a plan to revise the state's school-finance formula.

If approved by lawmakers and the governor, the plan would make Connecticut the first state to factor into districts' aid allotments the percentage of students scoring at or below the remedial level on a standardized test. It was submitted to the board in November by a 19-member panel appointed by the legislature.

At its meeting, the board voted to adjust the aid formula by doubling the factor for the number of children in poverty. The change would raise the cost of the plan to $407 million, up from $354 million under the original proposal.

In a separate move, the board agreed to ask the state attorney general to pursue legal action to force the town of Waterbury to build a new elementary school required by a board-issued desegregation order.

"This will ensure that Waterbury acts on what it said it will do," said Gerald N. Tirozzi, state commissioner of education.

Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts last week signed a bill that will provide grants and relax regulations for schools that experiment with new forms of organization to give more authority to teachers.

In addition to establishing between 20 and 30 "Carnegie schools"--a reference to the origin of the reform ideas in the report of the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy--the new law also will provide cash awards to schools that demonstrate improvements in student achievement; raise minimum teacher salaries to $20,000, up from the current minimum of $18,000; and increase the number of teachers eligible for a two-year-old program that offers cash awards for taking on additional tasks, such as curriculum development and teacher training.

The measure , passed during the final moments of the legislative session that ended this month, follows the recommendations of two state commissions, which urged the reforms in reports issued last September.

Oklahoma's new residential high school for science and mathematics will be housed in Oklahoma City, the school's board of trustees has decided.

Currently set to open with some 250 gifted 11th and 12th graders in the fall of 1990, the school will be located near the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center. The city of Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University, was the other site under consideration.

Oklahoma City officials will donate $2 million to help pay for the school's construction, and the city's chamber of commerce has pledged to raise $1.5 million to help cover its operating expenses.

Vol. 07, Issue 17

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