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On the bus

Welfare recipients who take jobs in North Carolina schools may get a lift to work on a school bus--and a chance to serve as paid bus monitors in the process.

Durham's school board changed its policy last week to permit school employees in the state's Work First program--a work-readiness program for welfare recipients--to ride school buses with students. Other districts in the state are considering similar policies, which remain rare, said Derek Graham, the section chief of the transportation service of the North Carolina education department.

The state school board passed a resolution last month supporting districts that wish to "work with a local social service agency to make this kind of transportation available to [Work First] participants as a last resort," Mr. Graham said. Transportation to work is one of the biggest hurdles for welfare recipients in getting and keeping jobs.

In Durham, Work First riders must have written permission from their principals, be trained as monitors, and plan to ride the bus day in and day out. Gary Akley, the Durham school system's transportation director, said adult passengers on the district's 276 buses could earn $7 an hour for watching their fellow riders, in addition to their pay for their regular school jobs.

Moonlighting in the Bay State

When Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci becomes acting governor of Massachusetts this summer--assuming Gov. William F. Weld is confirmed as ambassador to Mexico--he plans to keep teaching at Boston College despite a brewing controversy over potential conflicts of interest.

Boston College pays Mr. Cellucci, a Republican, $30,000 a year to teach "Policy and Politics in Massachusetts" once a week for 28 weeks. Since he began teaching the course in 1995, Mr. Cellucci said, he has steered clear of legislative issues involving Boston College. He vowed to do the same as governor.

"Sitting down with bright young college students once a week, talking about policy issues, will be good for them, and good for me," the lieutenant governor told The Boston Globe recently. Mr. Cellucci said his part-time job will also help supplement his salary, which will rise from its current $75,000 to $90,000 once he moves to the state's top job.

Mr. Cellucci would be the first Bay State governor to hold a second job since James Michael Curley, who was a bank officer through his tenure as governor of Massachusetts from 1935 to 1937.


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