District News Roundup

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The Denver school board has agreed to allow almost a third of the schools in its mandatory busing program to revert to neighborhood schools next year.

The board voted overwhelmingly this month to release nine elementary schools from busing students for racial desegregation. The decision leaves only 16 of the district's 78 elementary schools involved in the busing program established in 1974.

The district has placed steadily less emphasis on mandatory busing since 1987, when a federal judge granted it the freedom to make adjustments in its desegregation plan. The district has filed a motion asking the judge to release it entirely from federal-court supervision.

Bus Accident Investigated: A bus driver in Kansas City, Mo., has been suspended following the death of a 14-year-old student who fell underneath a moving school bus after his jacket became snagged in the vehicle's door.

R'yan Sayles, a 9th grader at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, a public magnet school, was dragged half a block before he slipped under the rear wheels of the bus, authorities said.

Principal Shakeup: Superintendent Walter G. Amprey has ordered the transfer or demotion of 27 of the Baltimore district's 180 principals.

Donna Franks, a district spokeswoman, said Mr. Amprey was making normal changes in principal assignments needed every year because of attrition and transfers.

She added that some of the changes stem from efforts by the superintendent and the school board to improve the city's poorest-performing schools. "Improvement efforts at those schools may include changes in principals and other staff," Ms. Franks said.

Student Dies in Beating: Los Angeles police have arrested six suspects in connection with the beating death of a 17-year-old boy at a city high school.

Shazeb Andleeb was attacked by as many as 10 classmates in a hallway at Narbonne High School on May 18, after a dispute over the guest list for a party.

Judge Takes Control: After four years of limited court supervision that yielded few changes, a federal judge last week seized control of the District of Columbia's crumbling child-welfare system, placing it in receivership.

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan's action marked the first time a court has taken complete control of that kind of city agency, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the city six years ago on behalf of city children. The move came weeks after the city relinquished control of its public housing to a court-appointed receiver.

The system oversees foster care, adoption services, and the protection of abused and neglected children.

Avoiding a Shutdown: The Albany, Vt., school board asked the state board of education last week to allow its two elementary schools to remain open for one more year.

Earlier this month, Richard Mills, Vermont's commissioner of education, announced the state's intention to close the schools after nearly a decade of pressure by the state to improve conditions failed to yield results.

Albany Village School and Albany Hilltop School lacked library media centers and other required facilities, such as those for physical and special education, said Carole Young, the principal of the two schools, which enroll a total of 75 students.

At the hearing last week, the district requested that it be given another chance to pass a bond issue in July, which would provide funds to build a new school by the 1996-97 school year. One previous bond issue failed to pass.

State board members agreed to consider the request at their June meeting.

Vol. 14, Issue 36

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