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Some lawmakers greeted the proposed date, which is only two weeks before the state's primary elections, with dismay. Critics argue that the timing of the special session could make it difficult for legislators to discuss new taxes.

Lieut. Gov. William P. Hobby and others have argued that new taxes probably will be necessary to fully fund the state's formula. But Mr. Clements has said the system can be fixed without new sources of revenue.

The legislature is under court order to revamp the school-finance formula by May 1.

In a related development, the state board of education has proposed its plan for bringing the funding formula into compliance with the court.

The five-year plan would require about $900 million in new money next year, and approximately $5 billion in its final year of implementation.

The board's proposal also would establish a $100-million reserve fund for school facilities; institute a summer-school program for at-risk students; mandate that schools increase the length of the school year; create incentives for year-round schooling; and raise salaries for school personnel.

The plan passed the board by a 12-to-3 vote.

Two Wyoming task forces have recommended that the state's schools be subject to greater accountability for their students' performance.

The first panel, assembled by the state board of education, concluded that students should master a common core of knowledge, skills, and attitudes before they graduate from high school.

The report says that students should know about entrepreneurship, keyboarding and computer skills, and practical life skills in addition to a standard academic curriculum.

The group recommended that students have individual growth plans, and that parents sign a contract with schools to ensure that their children achieve certain performance objectives.

A school-accreditation task force appointed by the board and the education department to look at outcome-based measures is expected to endorse many of the report's proposals.

The second report was completed the Wyoming Education Development Council, which the legislature last year required the Governor to appoint. The panel recommended that the school system establish a core curriculum and called for greater accountability.

The task force suggested that the state establish a trust fund for education. The panel did not say how much money should be in the fund, however, or what sources should be tapped to set up the account.

In an addendum to the report, Superintendent of Public Instruction Lynn O. Simons objected to the group's recommendation that a special council be appointed to oversee the implementation of the core curriculum and accountability measures.

The legislature is expected to consider the group's recommendations when it reconvenes next month.

The South Carolina Board of Education has released 125 high-achieving schools from most state regulations governing staffing, class scheduling, and class structure.

The schools were the first to receive such status under a law passed by the legislature last year. Regulations released by the board this fall to implement the law allow the schools to hire principals who are not certified as principals and to employ teachers--except for special-education instructors--who are not certified in the subject areas in which they teach. (See Education Week, Nov. 22, 1989.)

Roughly 11 percent of the state's 1,100 schools qualified for deregulated status.

Vol. 09, Issue 18

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