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A judge has approved the reopening of the last of dozens of District of Columbia schools that she had ordered closed for fire-code violations.

All of the district's schools were open last week, but Judge Kaye K. Christian ordered the city to reinspect the 164 schools and two adult-education centers for fire hazards by March 24.

A parents'-advocacy group had successfully sued the district over the code violations, prompting the judge last spring to order the city to fix some 1,800 life-threatening hazards by the end of August. When city and district officials failed to remedy the problems to her satisfaction, the judge refused to certify nearly a third of the schools as safe.

Her decision prompted district officials to postpone the entire school system's opening by three days. Hundreds of students attended classes at alternative sites until Sept. 16, the day all the facilities finally passed muster. (See Education Week, Sept. 21, 1994.)

Judge Ends Strike

Teachers in the 20,000-student Hayward, Calif., district, who had been on strike since the start of school, were ordered back to work last week by an Alameda County judge. A longstanding dispute over pay, class size, and layoffs had prompted the weeklong protest. (See Education Week, Sept. 21, 1994.)

The judge issued the back-to-work restraining order after the state Public Employment Relations Board requested it, claiming the teachers had not exhausted all mediation procedures before striking.

That decision left all of the nation's large districts up and running as of last week.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, teachers from eight Roman Catholic schools also returned to work last week. Their five-day walkout ended after Bishop James T. McHugh of Camden amended a controversial clause in the teachers' contract, under which some teachers feared they could be punished for their personal beliefs.

Elsewhere, strikes are entering a second week in one Pennsylvania district and a fourth week in three other Pennsylvania districts and one Washington State district.

Vol. 14, Issue 04

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