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Officials at the University of California at Los Angeles have announced plans to move ahead with a controversial proposal to turn the university's renowned laboratory school over to a local public-school district. (See Education Week, Jan. 17, 1990.)

Murray L. Schwartz, the university's executive vice chancellor, announced last month that the university would "work toward a final agreement" with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District on the proposal to turn the lab school over to Santa Monica.

Under the plan, the school, known as the Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School, would essentially join the public-school system. The university, however, would continue to staff and operate the school under a long-term contract with the district.

The parents of a student killed in the worst school-bus crash in Texas history have reached an out-of-court settlement for at least $2.7 million over 35 years.

The agreement was reached with the Valley Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc., whose truck collided with the school bus in Hidalgo County, killing 21 and injuring 60. (See Education Week, Sept. 27, 1989.)

Raul and Marguerite Ortega, who lost a son in the accident, will receive lifelong monthly payments of about $4,000 that will grow to $7,000, according to their lawyer.

This is the first settlement reached between the firm and a family involved in the crash. The company faces about 50 other civil lawsuits resulting from the crash.

The driver of the truck faces 21 criminal counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The Cleveland school board and the district's superintendent last week reached an agreement that will end a protracted legal standoff between the two parties and avert a threatened state takeover of Ohio's largest school district. (See Education Week, Feb. 7, 1990.)

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but state officials had insisted that the superintendent, Alfred D. Tutela, drop a lawsuit against three current and one former board member alleging that they had violated his free-speech rights.

The board agreed to fund "reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses" for the superintendent, but he "will not be receiving a dime in damages," according to a written statement from Stanley E. Tolliver Sr., president of the board of education.

State officials had also demanded that the board rescind a resolution calling for Mr. Tutela's dismissal. It was not clear last week whether the board had agreed to let Mr. Tutela serve out the remainder of his contract, which expires in August 1991.

Some school-board members said that the resolution of the matter could clear the way for the district to petition for release from its long-running desegregation case, which has been one of the major issues in the dispute between the two parties.

Two school districts in North Carolina have sued the state board of education over its attempt to bar public schools from using Whittle Communications' "Channel One" news program.

The state board sued the Thomasville district for signing a contract after the state board passed an emergency rule barring districts from signing up for Channel One. (See Education Week, Feb. 27, 1990.)

Both the Thomasville district and the Davidson County school board sued the state board Feb. 23, seeking to overturn the board's ban on Channel One.

Meanwhile, a state administrative law judge has ruled that the state board did not have good reason to pass the emergency restriction on Channel One. The board must hold a public hearing before its adopted restrictions can go into effect, the judge said.

Vol. 09, Issue 24

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