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Superintendent of Public Instruction Joseph P. Spagnolo of Virginia last month said a sweeping reorganization of the state education department will eliminate 99 agency positions, 39 more than originally expected.

The cuts are expected to be made by Jan. 1 as part of a major effort to trim the agency's 531-employee bureaucracy and shift its focus from regulation to research and service. National experts have hailed the reorganization, initiated by Mr. Spagnolo in September, as the boldest such move to date. (See Education Week, Sept. 19, 1990.)

Mr. Spagnolo originally said he would eliminate 60 jobs as he reduced the department's layers of bureaucracy and job classifications, but department officials said they discovered that they could streamline the agency more than first planned.

A department spokesman said the agency plans to get in touch with local school districts to help laid-off employees find new jobs.

New York City school employees suffered more incidents of crime and violence in the 1989-90 school year than in any year in nearly a decade, according to a report compiled by the United Federation of Teachers.

The 3,386 incidents represent a 26 percent increase over the year before, bearing out the local union's statistics from the first half of the same school year that showed a dramatic increase in such crimes. (See Education Week, May 2, 1990.)

Serious incidents, such as assaults, robberies, and sex offenses, increased 41 percent--from 774 incidents in 1988-89 to 1,093 incidents last year, the study said. The UFT represents 65,000 teachers and 20,000 other educators who work in the New York City schools.

The report also found a 70 percent increase over the previous year in the number of staff members needing medical attention as a result of school incidents.

Employees in special-education schools were especially vulnerable to crime, according to the report. The school with the most incidents was a special-education center where more than one-third of its staff members had been victimized, it said.

Just 140 schools--a little more than 10 percent of the city's system--accounted for 56 percent of the incidents, the report said.

Vol. 10, Issue 11

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