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Representative Augustus F. Hawkins, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said last week that he would sponsor a $3.1-billion urban-education bill.

The proposed "urban student assistance act" would authorize $1.5 billion for incentive grants to urban school districts, $1.5 billion for school construction and repair, and $100,000 for research and evaluation, according the Council of the Great City Schools, which has helped develop the legislation.

The grants would be targeted to "the lowest-achieving and poorest schools," and would be aimed at helping them reach the national education goals recently adopted by the National Governors' Association, said Forrest Rieke, a member of the Portland, Ore., school board who serves on the urban-school group's executive committee.

Mr. Rieke said the bill would also contain provisions requiring states "to focus their funds on the students who need it."

The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to hear a case brought by two teachers who claimed that a New York school district refused to hire them because of their age.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had ruled in Lowe v. Commack Union Free School District (Case No. 89-973) that the teachers had failed to identify a discriminatory hiring practice, and that simply noting a disparity in the ages of those hired was not enough grounds to sustain the case.

The Justices also let stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Clarke County School District v. Drew P. (No. 89-882), which required the Georgia district to reimburse the parents of a disabled child for private-school tuition.

Also last week, the Supreme Court ruled that labor-union members who sue their union for failing to represent them are entitled to a jury trial.

Four Justices joined in a plurality opinion, two others concurred in a separate opinion, and three dissented from the plurality's ruling in Chauffeurs v. Terry (No. 88-1719), a case brought by members of an International Brotherhood of Teamsters local in North Carolina.

The Education Department has named Barry E. Stern, a California-based management and education consultant, to be deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

Mr. Stern will be the chief aide to Betsy Brand, the assistant secretary for vocational and adult education.

Mr. Stern previously served as the president of First Step Inc., an immigration-counseling and legalization-assistance organization.

The House nutrition subcommittee has approved a bill to expand the food-stamp program.

The bill would make it easier for families that receive child support, and those that pay more than 50 percent of their income in rent, to receive federal food benefits.

Vol. 09, Issue 27

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