N.Y. School Bus Drivers To Undergo Fitness Testing

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Some school bus drivers in New York state will have to pass fitness tests under new state regulations.

Drivers' reflexes, dexterity, and strength will be tested at the request of a district superintendent or physician, according to the new rules, effective next month. The tests will also measure a driver's ability to carry or drag individuals from a bus.

"It's a reasonable expectation for a parent of a driver in an emergency," said Marion Edick, the state's director of pupil-transportation services. "If a student can't evacuate, the driver will be able to assist."

Tax Reimbursement Denied

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that the state is not bound to pay teachers' Social Security taxes.

A group of 62 school districts sought reimbursement of about $300 million that the districts paid in such taxes between 1989 and 1994.

The districts, which were too wealthy to participate in the state's funding formula, were made eligible for state funding in 1994 when a landmark rewrite of the school-finance system drastically increased state funding for districts. Wealthier districts had been required to pay Social Security taxes beginning in 1989.

A 1956 agreement made the state responsible for paying the districts' Social Security taxes. The unanimous court ruling this month, however, found that the tradition was not a contract that could be enforced.

Vol. 15, Issue 31

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