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The Houston Independent School District has fired two employees and transferred a half-dozen others in connection with ongoing investigations into its alternative-certification program for teachers.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Harris County district attorney's office, and the school district have been investigating allegations involving school employees that range from visa fraud to improper destruction of government records.

The claims center on the bilingual-education part of the district's alternative-certification program. (See Education Week, April 6, 1994.)

School for Service Opens

The first high school in the country specifically devoted to community service opened its doors last week, promising to supplement textbooks with "real life" education.

The Feinstein High School for Public Service in Providence, R.I., will require its 160 students to engage in several hours of community service each week as a condition of graduation. The school is named after a Rhode Island philanthropist who donated $500,000 to start it.

Instead of grade levels, students in the public school will advance based on performance assessments from "explorer" to "master" to "major." Instruction will be divided into three areas: ethics, service, and community studies; humanities; and technology. (See Education Week, March 3, 1993.)

TB Suit Filed

A high school senior has sued her school district and the Orange County, Calif., health department over an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis at her school.

Debi French is one of a dozen students at La Quinta High School in the county who have been treated for active cases of the disease in what health officials have called the largest outbreak of drug-resistant TB at a U.S. high school. (See Education Week, Aug. 3, 1994.)

The lawsuit, filed late last month in Orange County Superior Court, claims mishandling of the outbreak caused Ms. French to lose part of a lung after she contracted the disease.

Voucher Victory

Puerto Rico's school-voucher plan will continue for a second year while the commonwealth's highest court reviews its constitutionality.

The Puerto Rico Supreme Court voted 4 to 3 last month to allow the voucher program to proceed while it considers a final ruling. The plan gives low-income families government-financed vouchers worth as much as $1,500, which can be used at public or private schools.

The program, which was struck down by a trial court judge as violating the commonwealth's constitution, is being watched closely by voucher advocates in the United States. (See Education Week, May 4, 1994.)

Vol. 14, Issue 02

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