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Desegregation Settlement For Fort Wayne Approved: A U.S. District Court judge has given final approval to the settlement of a desegregation suit against the state of Indiana and the Fort Wayne school district.

Judge Allen Sharp last month signed the settlement he tentatively had approved in February after the state agreed to provide an additional $12.9 million over six years to pay for district programs for low-income and minority children. (See Education Week, Feb. 23, 1994.)

The suit, filed eight years ago, had accused the state of exacerbating racial segregation in the Fort Wayne district by approving, over parents' objections, the construction of schools in racially isolated areas.

School Employees Return: The Houston school district has reinstated three of the five employees placed on leave with pay in connection with ongoing investigations by authorities into the district's alternative-certification program for teachers.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Harris County district attorney's office, and the school district in recent months have been investigating allegations reportedly involving school personnel that range from visa fraud to improper destruction of government records. The allegations center on the bilingual-education segment of the alternative-certification program. (See Education Week, April 6, 1994.)

The district had placed the director and four clerical employees of the alternative-certification office on leave; the director and one clerical employee remain on leave. The district attorney's office cleared the three employees who returned to work of wrongdoing, school officials said.

The district attorney's office is looking into additional allegations--reported last month by a local television station--that district workers were taking blank money orders from participants in the alternative-certification program for immigration and other paperwork that in many cases was either unnecessary or illegal.

Jaime de la Isla, the associate superintendent for administration, said the district plans to wait until the investigations are completed before taking any further action with its employees. "We have a very serious concern here with regard to the operations of the alternative-certification program,'' he said, "but we'll have to assess the extent of the problem after the investigations.''

Vol. 13, Issue 36

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