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The Prince George's County, Md., school board plans to contest the U.S. Justice Department's demand that it stop reassigning teachers and other staff members to achieve racially balanced school faculties.

The board voted this month to request a hearing on the issue before U.S. District Judge Frank A. Kaufman, who presides over a desegregation lawsuit filed against the district by the naacp

The board's action marks the first time that the district and the civil-rights group have willingly joined forces to defend the district's desegregation efforts, according to Brian Porter, a district spokesman.

The board "would like to avoid a court fight [with the Justice Department], but it will defend its policy," he said. (See Education Week, Jan. 11, 1989.)

Four black members of the Boston School Committee vowed last week to oppose a new student-assignment policy that would end mandatory busing in the district for the first time since 1974.

The committee members and other black leaders said that without a significant infusion of money to upgrade deficient schools, the proposed "controlled choice" policy would provide unequal choices for many students.

The group also claimed that the black community was not adequately consulted during the development of the plan--a charge that advocates of the proposal have denied. (See Education Week, Jan. 11, 1989.)

Vol. 08, Issue 18

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