District News Roundup

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Baltimore Schools Penalized For Inflated Enrollment Figures

The Baltimore school district must give up $4.2 million in state aid to make up for what it was overpaid last year after exaggerating its enrollment, state officials say.

District officials have blamed last year's 1,230-student enrollment overcount on problems in a new computer system linking schools with district headquarters.

A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education said the state plans to deduct the money from this year's payments to Baltimore. The cash-strapped district will receive $325 million in state aid, rather than the $329 million it had expected.

Free Buildings

General Motors Corporation has given the Detroit public schools an engineering complex for use as an environmental job-training center.

The former Clark Street Engineering Building and Emissions Laboratories eventually will provide training for as many as 2,500 students, district officials said last month.

The 10-acre, $3.5 million site is part of a proposed federal empowerment zone, but the district plans to develop the center even without federal funds and has launched a drive to raise $25 million for it.

Integration Plan Faulted

Racial segregation in schools in Montgomery County, Md., is rapidly increasing, according to the latest in a series of reports from the Harvard Project on School Desegregation.

Montgomery County, an affluent suburb of Washington with a reputation for progressive traditions, in 1958 voluntarily began adopting policies to integrate its schools. Over the years, the district created 14 magnet-school programs and took other measures to promote integration in the face of a growing influx of minority students.

But the Harvard team, directed by the researcher Gary Orfield, concluded that those policies have been ineffective and, in some cases, may have increased the isolation of the district's African-American and Hispanic students.

District officials said they have not yet reviewed the final report, which was released last month. But they had sharply criticized an earlier version of the report, calling it both flawed and biased.

"I can tell you that a preliminary review of the final report suggests the overall commentary and conclusions contain the same type of advocacy research that characterized the first draft," said Brian J. Porter, a spokesman for the district.

Charges Dismissed

Mismanagement charges against a Kentucky superintendent were dismissed recently after the Letcher County administrator resigned.

The state has moved to take over the troubled eastern Kentucky district. State officials said they had pursued administrative misconduct charges against Jack Burkich because they feared he might try to come out of retirement.

Under the terms of the ruling, the state board could reinstate the charges if Mr. Burkich attempts a comeback.

Vol. 14, Issue 01

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