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"My constituents say they don't want to cut money to nursing homes so kids can have laptops."

—Maine House Minority Leader Joseph Bruno, on why some legislators want to help offset the state's $250 million budget shortfall with the $30 million that Gov. Angus King has set aside to buy middle schoolers their own computers.

"We believe the parent is the first and most important teacher for any child. We want to make a commitment to parents that we are willing to work with them."

—Boston Teachers' Union President Ed Doherty, explaining the motivation behind his group's new $25,000 campaign to help parents prepare their kids for preschool.

"The students no longer listened to what I had to say. They knew if they didn't like anything in my classroom from here on out, they can just go to the school board and complain."

—Kansas biology teacher Christine Pelton, on why she quit her job at Piper High School after the school board refused to let her fail 28 sophomores who she claims plagiarized material for a project. The board agreed that the students had cheated but ordered Pelton to give them partial credit for their work.

"Our football kids love it because it's soft when you fall. The soccer players like it because you get a natural ball bounce. . . . We can play on it 24-7, and it always looks great."

—Mark Michele, athletics director at East Rochester High in New York, on the school's new synthetic field. More and more schools are replacing their sod fields with next-generation artificial turf.

Vol. 13, Issue 7, Page 7

Published in Print: April 1, 2002, as Overheard
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