Education News for Friday, Jan. 26

A Dallas school district secretary has admitted that she ran up $100,000 in personal charges over three years on her school district credit card. A plea agreement calls for Gloria Orapello, 50, to repay the district $100,000, and cooperate with federal investigators. Also: The Dallas school board has authorized an additional $500,000 for its investigation into district credit card spending. (Dallas Morning News)

Despite an initial goal of hiring only certified instructors, only 67 percent of the teachers in the 18 Recovery District schools in New Orleans have earned state certification. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Manuel J. Rivera abruptly withdrew from the Boston school superintendent's job because of concern about the role that School Committee chairwoman Elizabeth Reilinger would play in the system's operation. Rivera, now school superintendent in Rochester, N.Y., backed out of the Boston job this week and will head New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's new commission on public higher education. (Boston Globe)

A fire caused about $300,000 damage to a 97-year-old former schoolhouse in Loudon County, Va. The building is used which primarily as a community center and concert hall. (Washington Post)

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., will close two underenrolled Catholic elementary schools and transfer students elsewhere. (Washington Post)

Startled by the depth of Texas Southern University's multimillion-dollar financial woes, Gov. Rick Perry has ordered its board of regents to start making "tough decisions" to fix the problems or resign. (Houston Chronicle)

Houston school superintendent Abelardo Saavedra has apologized for suggesting that only those who received big performance bonuses were "the cream of the crop." About $14 million in bonuses has been awarded to nearly 8,000 educators, but some teachers say the bonus plan is ill-designed and has led co-workers to turn on one another. (Houston Chronicle)


TODAY'S QUOTE:

“Everyone who got it deserves it—it's just that so many people who didn't get it deserve it (too). I don't know that it can be saved. They need to figure out how to make it fair.”

--Marsha Baumann, a social worker in the Houston district, on employees given performance bonuses. Read the Houston Chronicle article.


The Archdiocese of New Orleans has vowed to take steps to improve the still-unfinished temporary campus for Archbishop Hannan High School near Covington, La. The school moved to the temporary site in August after Hurricane Katrina wrecked its campus in Meraux. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

A soaring deficit is forcing St. Timothy Lutheran School in Detroit to close at the end of the month. The elementary school has 32 students. (Detroit News)

California State University, Sacramento, is hosting a symposium on the changing role of academic libraries, as campus officials begin taking another look at overhauling the library. (Sacramento Bee)

Naperville, Ill., police say they know who took the Neuqua Valley High School bell, but they don't know where it is. Police have identified six recent graduates between 18 and 19 years old as the culprits in the Jan. 6 heist. The teens will not be charged because they have agreed to reimburse the school for the bell, which was worth $10,000. (Chicago Tribune)

Three juveniles were in custody, and a 17-year-old is being sought in connection with the Jan. 5 vandalism of school buses in Farmington, Mich. (Detroit Free Press)

Illinois law caps the number of public charter schools at 60, but if President Bush has his way, school districts in Illinois and other states could override state law to convert as many failing schools into charters as they wanted. (Chicago Sun-Times)

A student at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, Texas, was hospitalized with serious injuries Friday after being hit by a van while running to catch a bus. (Dallas Morning News)

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MORE: Recent AS&U News Headlines:

Thursday, Jan. 25
Wednesday, Jan. 24
Tuesday, Jan. 23
Monday, Jan. 22

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