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A Pittsburgh-area district that has been embroiled in a privatization debate for almost a year has hired a for-profit company to run one of its elementary schools.

Officials in the 1,900-student Wilkinsburg district and the Nashville-based Alternative Public Schools Inc. signed an agreement this month. It contains a provision, however, that would allow the district to void the deal if state lawmakers do not pass a bill proposed by Gov. Tom Ridge that would make such contracts legal.

The local teachers' union has sued over the deal, and a hearing on a permanent injunction is expected sometime this summer. (See Education Week, 4/12/95.)

Court Order on Kindergarten: A Pennsylvania judge has told the Philadelphia school district it must widely implement full-day kindergarten as part of its desegregation plan, even if that means ditching many other reforms.

Judge Doris A. Smith last week rejected Superintendent David W. Hornbeck's proposal to focus his ambitious reform program, including new kindergartens, on just a fourth of the district's schools.

Mr. Hornbeck blamed a lack of funds for his decision to scale back reforms designed to comply with the court's desegregation orders. (See Education Week, 2/15/95.)

Houston Recruitment Plan: The Houston school district is negotiating with TEACH!, an organization being launched by Teach for America, to recruit 50 teacher interns for the 1996-97 school year.

TEACH! plans to begin recruiting in October from a pool of young professionals in the Houston area, and to train the interns next summer. The group plans to seek teaching licenses for candidates who pass performance reviews but who may not hold education degrees. (See Education Week, 2/2/94)

The contract is subject to approval by the Texas Commission on Standards for the Teaching Profession and the state school board.

Vol. 14, Issue 39

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