Update Briefs

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Ohio's financial-oversight board has approved an emergency loan of nearly $30 million to the Cleveland schools to operate through the end of the fiscal year.

The action by the controlling board followed a federal judge's decision earlier this month to declare the Cleveland school system in a state of crisis and to place it under the control of the state schools chief. (See Education Week, 3/15/95.)

William E. Aldridge, the district's treasurer, told the controlling board that the district had gotten in trouble by awarding its employees contracts with pay increases it could not afford.

Ted Sanders, the state superintendent, said he plans to retain control of the district for at least 18 months.

Last week, he named an interim superintendent to help him oversee the district: Richard Boyd, a former Mississippi state superintendent who also has run school systems in Warren and Lakewood, Ohio.

Raising the Bar: Student-athletes who take the Scholastic Assessment Test in April, May, and June will have to score at least 820 points to be eligible to compete in intercollegiate sports.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association adopted the new minimum score to reflect scoring revisions in the college-entrance examination. (See Education Week, 6/22/94.)

Students, who currently need a 700 score, will not have to answer more questions correctly.

"The standard that student-athletes have to reach to be eligible is the same," said Ursula Walsh, the N.C.A.A. research director. "The only thing that has changed is the number that the Educational Testing Service assigns to a particular performance on its test."

A different scale is forthcoming for students preparing to enter college in the fall of 1996, when genuinely higher eligibility standards take effect.

Internal Agreement: The executive committee of the National Education Association-Rhode Island has voted to stop using members' dues to fight a lawsuit over state pensions for some union employees.

Three local unions had voted to withhold their dues to protest the lawsuit, which seeks to reinstate generous state pensions for union officials. In 1987, some union workers were allowed to buy in to the state pension fund. Later, the union officials were removed from the pension system, prompting the suit. (See Education Week, 3/08/95.)

Harvey Press, the president of the state union, also withstood a call for his resignation led by teachers from East Providence, the largest local in the state. Instead, Mr. Press received a vote of confidence from union members during a recent meeting of its delegate assembly.

Turnaround in Dade: The Metro-Dade Commission, reversing an earlier vote, has approved a request by a developer to build new homes in the already crowded Dade County, Fla., school district.

The commission this month approved construction of 60 single-family homes in the northwest section of the county.

In January, the commission had denied the developer's request, in part because of overcrowding in the 315,000-student district. Developers have been anxious to fill Dade County's booming housing needs, but the school board has not been able to pay for school-building projects fast enough. (See Education Week, 1/25/95.)

"The case was made at the school board hearing that [the new homes] wouldn't impact the area negatively," Henry Fraind, an assistant superintendent for the district, said last week.

Vol. 14, Issue 27

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