Market Watch

AS&U's monthly update on trends, issues and legislation affecting education facilities and business.

ADMINISTRATION D.C. Schools streamline central office The new school superintendent in Washington D.C. is eliminating more than 30 jobs in a major restructuring of the district's central administration.

Paul Vance, who came out of retirement earlier this year to take over the 70,000-student school system, announced that he is eliminating 27 full-time positions, as well as nine others that are vacant. He is doing away with the position of deputy superintendent and two associate superintendent positions and replacing them with a chief academic officer, a chief operating officer and a chief of staff.

The changes are the first phase of a two-phase process. Vance says the second phase will focus on strengthening and streamlining key offices to facilitate improved services to schools.

DESIGN Big contest for small schools Seeking to come up with cutting-edge school designs for the 21 superscript st Century, the Chicago Public Schools and several other organizations are sponsoring an architectural competition that will result in two new elementary schools.

The "Big Shoulders, Small Schools" competition seeks design proposals for 800-student elementary buildings of approximately 100,000 square feet at a cost of about $200 a square foot. About 20 percent of the population in each building will be students with disabilities.

A jury of architects and community members will select winning entries based on five criteria: innovation, feasibility, sensitivity to neighborhood context, adherence to principles of universal design, and adherence to principles of small-school design.

Competitors must register by Dec. 1, and first-stage design submissions are due in January 2001.

TECHNOLOGY N.J. to broaden access to Internet About 50 economically disadvantaged school districts in New Jersey are eligible for state grants to help students and their families bridge the digital divide and gain greater access to educational technology.

The program, called ACE (Access-Collaboration-Equity), will award more than $7.4 million to the districts so that students and others in the community can use computers, connect to the Internet and use other forms of technology at locations such as schools, libraries, community centers and housing complexes.

The program is supported by money from two federal grants.

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