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A legislative panel in Iowa has ordered an audit of competing proposals to build an ambitious fiber-optic-based communications system, thus delaying the start of construction on a distance-learning network that would eventually link every school in the state.

The Legislative Council, a bipartisan body charged with overseeing the awarding of the contracts, ordered the audit to ensure that the proposal by Kiewit Network Technologies Inc. was the most cost-effective. Iowa's large telephone lobby earlier this month challenged the state's intent to the state's plans to build and maintain its own fiber-optic network are unrealistic. (See Education Week, Jan. 16, 1991.)

A former defendant in the McMartin Preschool molestation trial will not be granted back pay for the five years she was suspended from teaching, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled.

Peggy Ann Buckey had sought $223,000 in back pay from the Anaheim Union High School district, which suspended her in 1984, according to Lee Kellogg, an assistant superintendent and the general counsel for the district. Charges against Ms. Buckey in the preschool case were dropped in 1986. But district officials refused to reinstate her because her teaching credentials had expired. After a long legal battle, she was reinstated 18 months ago.

The judge found that Ms. Buckey was entitled to $37,000 in pay from March 1984 to September 1985, when her credentials expired. Ms. Buckey is now a special-education teacher with the district.

Ms. Buckey's brother, Raymond, and their mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, were acquitted in January 1990 of 52 molestation counts in the longest and costliest criminal trial in U.S. history (See Education Week, Jan. 24, 1990)

Members of the Rochester Teachers Association overwhelmingly approved a tentative contract settlement last week. (See Education Week, Jan. 16, 1991.)

In balloting conducted at each school, 2,453 teachers cast votes--97 percent of whom voted in favor of the new contract.

The Rochester school board is scheduled to vote on the contract Jan. 23. Members remain under pressure from the community, which is wary of the cost of the contract.

"It would not be an exaggeration to say that reforms in Rochester hing on whether or not the board will support this," said Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association.

Vol. 10, Issue 18

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