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The Minnesota state board of education has approved a desegregation plan designed to improve the racial balance between schools in the Twin Cities and their surrounding suburbs.

The plan, passed by the board last month, would require some districts in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area to integrate voluntarily by creating local magnet schools. (See Education Week, Feb. 2, 1994.)

Minority enrollment in the city school systems is roughly 50 percent to 60 percent, while the suburban districts generally have much smaller minority enrollments.

The plan also calls for districts to find ways to close the academic-performance gap between white and minority students or risk reconstitution.

The legislature must still approve the plan, which could cost between $16.7 million and $32 million next year. The state board is expected to ask lawmakers to set aside funding for at least the first year of the proposal.

Recall Drive Fails: A recall effort aimed at three conservative Christian members of the Vista, Calif., school board has fallen short for the June ballot. Recall organizers, who said they objected to the three members' pursuit of a "private agenda,'' were about 3,000 signatures below the 9,100 needed on the recall petition.

The petition drive targeted the board president, Deidre Holliday, and two other members, John Tyndall and Joyce Lee. The three-member majority on the five-member board last year adopted a policy that critics say is intended to promote teaching about creationism. (See Education Week, Sept. 8, 1993.)

The members have also called for an abstinence-based sex-education curriculum.

The organizers of the drive say they will pursue a recall of Mr. Tyndall and Ms. Lee on the November ballot. Ms. Holliday is up for re-election then.

Vol. 13, Issue 23

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