District News Roundup: Minnesota Approves Changes In Desegregation Rules

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The Minnesota board of education has approved a plan that would modify the state's desegregation rules--the first such change in 23 years.

Rather than busing, which has been court-mandated since 1973, the draft desegregation rules would require districts to come up with their own plans to correct racial imbalances. Any school with a minority population more than 15 percent above the overall district percentage would have to present a desegregation plan to the state board. Failure to correct intentional segregation would result in loss of state financial aid.

By approving the plan, the board authorizes the department of children, families, and learning to begin the legal rulemaking process, which involves public hearings and a final report to the board by an administrative-law judge. The board hopes to have the new rules in place in early 1997.

Voc.-Ed. Numbers in Dispute

Vocational high schools in Massachusetts may have inflated enrollment figures of low-income students to receive higher levels of state financial aid, according to state education officials there.

State schools chief Robert Antonucci last month asked education department lawyers to investigate the number of residents and nonresidents attending state vocational schools from 1991 to 1995.

Under the Massachusetts school-finance formula, reimbursement from the state is based on the per-capita income of each student's town. By combining resident and nonresident students, school officials may have inflated the number of low-income students.

Changes in the law may have confused vocational school officials, said Alan Safran, a spokesman for the state chief. Before 1993, he said, enrollment figures included both residents and nonresidents.

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