Ind. Union Sues Over Curb On Teacher Bargaining Rights

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The Indiana State Teachers Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the inclusion in the state budget of a reform plan for the Indianapolis schools that sharply curtails the union's power to collectively bargain on educational issues.

It was unconstitutional for state lawmakers to tack the unrelated legislation on to the state budget, the union argues in the lawsuit filed last month against the Indianapolis district and the state of Indiana.

The reform law focuses on accountability. It calls for increased parental choice and involvement in Indianapolis schools, annual reports on indicators of student progress, and "academic receivership" for failing schools. It limits collective bargaining by the district's teachers to salaries and fringe benefits.

Taking Control: Chancellor Ramon C. Cortines of the New York City schools has dissolved a deeply divided Brooklyn school board that had spent months trying to agree on a new superintendent.

Mr. Cortines announced last week that he was removing the Community School District 17 board and appointing an interim superintendent and five trustees to oversee its affairs until a newly elected board is seated in January 1997.

Bonuses in Colorado: A Colorado school district paid off on its commitment to good teaching this summer, adding $1,000 bonuses to the paychecks of 230 teachers.

The 21,000-student Douglas County district's performance-pay program seeks to boost performance among its current teaching staff and lure highly qualified teachers into the district.

Misspending Alleged: The Detroit school system may have inappropriately spent as much as $50 million from a $162 million school-construction bond issue in 1986, according to a local newspaper.

The Detroit Free Press reported last month that the district had spent millions from the bonds on construction projects that were not approved. The district may also have used the funds for routine maintenance and to cover cost overruns from a previous bond--a possible violation of Michigan law, the newspaper said.

Superintendent David L. Snead has asked for an outside investigation of the expenditures, which, he noted, occurred under his predecessors.

Valedictorian Sues: A Utah teenager who claims a severe beating may have harmed his performance on college-entrance examinations has sued the three youths accused in the assault.

Kale Bodily of Sunset, the valedictorian of the 600-student Northridge High School, argues in the civil lawsuit that a brain contusion from the May 6 beating may have prevented him from thinking clearly on the exams.

"There was stuff I didn't know that I should have been able to whiz through without any problem," Mr. Bodily said.

False Promotions: A clerical error at a Baltimore high school has spawned more than a few false hopes. More than 300 students at Patterson High School were told in June that they were being promoted to the next grade--when really they had failed.

A school employee caused the mistake by missing a deadline for reporting failures to the district headquarters. The errors were discovered when several parents complained their children did not deserve to be promoted.

Vol. 14, Issue 41

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