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Inviting Chaos

The Prince George's County, Md., school board has cleared the way for a new invitation to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to speak at a school's awards ceremony.

But as of late last week--as the saga stretched into its second week--it was unclear exactly how Justice Thomas would RSVP.

The justice had accepted the original invitation from the school's PTA president, issued with the principal's approval, to address the awards ceremony at the Thomas G. Pullen Creative and Performing Arts School in Landover.

But Superintendent Jerome Clark withdrew the invitation after school board member Kenneth E. Johnson and several parents pledged a protest. A spokesman for Mr. Clark said he did not want such controversy to mar the ceremony. (See Education Week, June 5, 1996.)

A few days later, however, the board voted to ask the justice back. As a final dissent, Mr. Johnson--who opposes Justice Thomas's conservative views--promised a "major disruption" of this week's event.

Generous Answers

A poll in the June 3 issue of Time magazine found that 73 percent of the people surveyed favor spending more of their own tax dollars to help children.

Forty-nine percent of the respondents said current government programs that help children should be expanded, while 10 percent called for cutbacks; 37 percent of the more than 1,000 people polled said spending on children's programs is "about right."

The poll has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.

A Bridge to Bern

Madeleine M. Kunin, the deputy secretary of education, has been nominated by President Clinton to become the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland. The White House made the long-rumored announcement last week.

Ms. Kunin, 63, is a native of Switzerland.

She will remain with the Department of Education as her nomination moves toward Senate confirmation. Before joining the department in its No. 2 post, Ms. Kunin served as the governor of Vermont.

--Mark Pitsch
e-mail: [email protected]

Vol. 15, Issue 38

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