States: Federal Judge Upholds N.J. Welfare-Reform Law

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A federal judge has upheld a controversial New Jersey law that denies public assistance to mothers who have additional children while they are on welfare.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas H. Politan found last month that the state's 1992 welfare-reform law "does not attempt to constrain the welfare mother's right to bear as many children as she chooses, but simply requires her to find a way to pay for her progeny's care."

Additional children born to mothers who are on welfare would still be eligible to receive food stamps and Medicaid under the law, the judge added.

The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had filed the class action on behalf of wel~fare recipients. The A.C.L.U. argued that the law violates children's con~sti~tu~tional guarantees to due process and equal protection by punishing them for the actions of their parents.

Last week, officials of the A.C.L.U. said the organization would appeal the decision.

Eligibility Requirements Opposed: A majority of Minnesota high school principals oppose a uniform academic standard for student participants in sports and other activities, a recent state~widesurvey shows.

The poll by the Minnesota State High School League, released last month, found that more than 65 percent of the 325 principals who responded believe there should be no statewide academic requirement for schools in the league.

The league's survey came after two Minneapolis North High School athletes were declared ineligible to participate in the championship game of the state basketball tournament because they failed to meet their school's minimum academic requirements.

Only 29 percent of the principals who responded to the survey said they have a minimum G.P.A. eligibility requirement, said Howard Voigt, a spokesman for the league, which oversees athletics and other activities for 438 public and private high schools.

Vol. 14, Issue 34

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