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The Supreme Court refused last week to grant a stay in the De Kalb County, Ga., school-desegregation case, forcing district officials to proceed with the development of a new desegregation plan ordered by a lower court.

De Kalb County school officials are still planning to ask the High Court to review an October ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that mandated that the district take further steps to desegregate its schools. (See Education Week, Oct. 25, 1989.)

The case could give the new conservative majority on the court one of its first opportunities to indicate how and when school-desegregation cases should be ended. The De Kalb County schools have been under court order since 1969, and school officials insist they have done everything feasible to eliminate the vestiges of racial segregation.

In other action, the Justices also declined to review a case in which a teacher charged that the Jefferson Parish, La., school board had violated her free-speech and due-process rights in retaliation for revealing problems about bus routes.

A lower court had assessed a fine against the teacher and her lawyer for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit without sufficent evidence for her claims.

The volume of student loans backed by the federal government jumped dramatically in 1988, a new Education Department report indicates.

Loan volume for fiscal 1988 increased 21.3 percent over 1987, soaring from $9.7 billion to $11.8 billion in one year, according to the report.

The number of loans in 1988 increased by 16.4 percent, more than double the percentage increase the previous year, the report states.

The increase in overall loan volume is mainly due to a near-tripling in the dollar volume of Supplemental Loans to Students, from $711 million in 1987 to $2 billion in 1988.

Copies of the "FY 1988 Guaranteed Student Loan Programs Data Book" are available without charge from the Analysis Section, Student Loan Branch, Education Department, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., fob-3, Room 4310, Washington, D.C. 20202.

The commission that recommended that 91 military bases be closed or scaled down did not consider the impact on surrounding communities, a General Accounting Office report indicates.

While the Commission on Base Realignment and Closure did gather testimony on local economic impacts, it did not consider that information critical enough to factor in when making the final decisions, according to the agency.

The panel did not look at such factors as indirect job losses, the loss of medical services for many military and civilian personnel, and the effect on school districts, the study found.

After the proposed closings were announced last year, school officials in many nearby districts warned that they could face severe financial problems as the result of the loss of federal impact aid and enrollment-tied state funds. (See Education Week, Jan. 11, 1989.)

Vol. 09, Issue 15

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