News Update: Mentoring Program Undergoes Changes After Federal Ruling

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The Prince George's County, Md., school district has made changes to an all-male mentoring program after a federal ruling deemed it discriminatory.

In November, the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights found the Black Male Achievement Initiative to be discriminatory against girls after a complaint was filed by a parent whose daughter was not allowed in her middle school's mentoring program. (See Education Week, Feb. 7, 1996.)

Federal grants for the mentoring program had been suspended since last September. Those funds were released last week, after restructuring of the program began.

Schools will now combine male and female mentoring programs, the program supervisor said.

Budget Approval--Finally

Stubborn voters in Benson, Vt., have finally approved a school budget after setting a state record by turning down 12 straight local budgets.

At the annual town meeting earlier this month, voters approved an $815,000 budget on a 135-114 vote. The budget will cover expenses for the current school year. The district officially had no budget for the 1994-95 year, so expenses were covered as debt by local officials. This month's budget approval marked the first time voters had approved a budget for the 130-student K-8 district since 1993. (See Education Week, June 14, 1995.)

The Benson electorate will be asked to vote again in May for next year's budget for the district's lone elementary school.

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