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Supporters of an initiative that would allow open enrollment in Oregon's public schools and provide state income-tax credits of up to $2,500 a year for parents who choose home-based or private schooling have appealed a judge's decision last week that the question was ineligible for the November ballot.

A circuit-court judge in Marion County ruled that votes on the school-choice proposal and four other initiatives should not be counted, since they did not include financial-impact statements as required under state law.

Organizers of the choice measure said they expected that the state supreme court would overturn the circuit judge's decision, since the high court has ruled that financial-impact statements were not needed for the choice initiative to appear before the voters. Observers say the Oregon choice plan would be the most comprehensive such effort in the nation.

Virginia public schools will not feel until next year the effects of $1.4 billion in state spending cuts ordered by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, state officials have indicated.

In identifying spending reductions in a wide range of state programs needed to eliminate a projected deficit, the Governor cut a total of $207.8 million from programs administered by the education department, including $40.7 million in aid to public schools this year and $122.3 million in aid next year.

At the same time, Mr. Wilder also called for a reduction in the contribution to the state pension fund that localities must make this year, thus offsetting much of the impact of the aid cuts. No such relief is in sight for the following year, however.

Vol. 10, Issue 5

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