News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Justice Dept. Closes Mascot Investigation

The Department of Justice has ended its investigation of a North Carolina district after the school board there agreed to replace one of its two American Indian mascots.

The Buncombe County board of education was accused of showing insensitivity toward Native Americans after parents complained of the mascots and other Indian-themed objects used to promote school spirit at Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville.

The board agreed this month to change the name of the mascot for girls' sports teams--the Squaws--at the end of this year. The boys' mascot will continue to be the Warriors.

The school will not remove any of its Indian paraphernalia, including two totem poles and a 30-foot statue of an Indian warrior. But the board will take into account recommendations by local Cherokee-tribe members on objects or symbols they feel are disrespectful.

--Joetta L. Sack

Washington College-Tuition Legislation Unveiled

Washington residents who attend colleges and universities outside the District of Columbia could receive a hefty tuition break under proposed federal legislation.

This month, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., introduced a bill in the House that would enable residents of the District of Columbia to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities around the nation. That could slash students' school bills by half or more at many institutions. The bill calls for the federal government to make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state rates.

President Clinton has proposed spending $17 million in fiscal 2000 on a similar program designed to give tuition breaks to Washington residents who attend Maryland and Virginia institutions, said Howard Dennis, the counsel to the District of Columbia Subcommittee, which Mr. Davis chairs.

Mr. Dennis said there was no way to project the number of students who would be eligible for the plan, but he noted that some 700 to 800 new high school graduates who live in the Washington enroll in out-of-state schools each year. The bill has bipartisan support, Mr. Dennis said, and he predicted that it would move quickly through the House.

--Julie Blair

Vol. 18, Issue 27, Page 34

Published in Print: March 17, 1999, as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
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