Rules Set for Suspensions Of Disabled Students

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New guidelines concerning suspensions of disabled students have been issued by the Education Department's office for civil rights.

The policy defines instances in which the suspension of a disabled student for more than 10 days in a year is to be deemed a change in the student's placement--an occurrence requiring special procedures.

Advocates for such students have said that schools sometimes use frequent short suspensions to skirt legal precedents that say a single suspension exceeding 10 days constitutes a change in placement.

The o.c.r. had previously said that a series of short suspensions totaling more than 10 days a year was a change in placement. But the new memo, issued by LeGree S. Daniels, assistant secretary for civil rights, indicates that there may be times when nonconsecutive suspensions totaling more than 10 days are not to be considered a significant change.

Among the factors that should be considered, the memo says, are the length of each suspension, the proximity of the suspensions to one another, and the total amount of time the child is excluded from school.

At least 39 states and territories have agreed to participate in the first national assessment that would allow state-by-state comparisons of student achievement.

As of late last week, only 11 of the 56 eligible jurisdictions had declined to participate in the 1990 test of 8th-grade mathematics, Education Department officials says. The remain8ing 6 states and territories had not responded by the Dec. 1 deadline.

Schools have until Jan. 16 to apply for federal grants and loans to complete asbestos-abatement activities.

School officials must return the completed applications to state authorities. The Congress appropriated $47.5 million for the 1989 awards.

Because competition for the funds is expected to be intense, officials of the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that only those districts needing to remove significantly damaged, friable asbestos apply. Public schools from districts where the per capita income exceeded $9,916 in 1985 will be ineligible, as will private schools with operating budgets of more than about $1,600 per pupil.

Gerald Morris, an associate diel10lrector of the American Federation of Teachers, has been installed as president of the Committee for Education Funding.

The Washington organization of education groups, which lobbies on budgetary issues, is headed by a representative from a different member organization each year.

New Haven, Conn., and Manhattan, Kan., are to be the sites of new Job Corps centers.

In announcing the first of six new residential training centers for disadvantaged youths, Secretary of Labor Ann D. McLaughlin encouraged other states and localities to participate in the site-selection process for the remaining centers.

For more information, contact Peter E. Rell, Director of Job Corps, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N4508, Washington, D.C. 20210.

Vol. 08, Issue 15

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