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Friday's top education stories

compiled by

American School & University:

March 7, 2003

CRISIS PLANS: The Bush administration is about to announce a $60 million program to help school districts design response and evacuation plans for emergencies including chemical or biological attacks. (New York Times)

FINANCIALLY TROUBLED: More than a third of the school districts in Illinois will land on the State Board of Education's list of financially troubled systems. (Chicago Tribune)....More than 100 teachers in the Pasadena, Texas, school district have received notice that their positions were being eliminated. (Houston Chronicle)

SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Boston public school officials say they will use poor test scores and dwindling enrollments, among other criteria, as they decide which of as many as five campuses they will close by this fall. (Boston Globe)

MORE SPACE: New York City officials say they will create 5,094 seats for students before the start of school in September by turning administrative offices into classrooms. An additional 15,000 seats would be created by constructing new school buildings and additions or by securing new leases. (New York Times)

RECONSIDER CUTS: University of Massachusetts president William M. Bulger is pleading with Governor Mitt Romney to reconsider his decision to halt the university's building plan. (Boston Globe)

RAPE CHARGE: The former superintendent of schools in Carroll County, Md., has been indicted on charges of raping an elementary school-age girl. William H. Hyde already had been accused of molesting the girl. (Baltimore Sun)

SPENDING CONTROL: Responding to criticism of its spending, the University of Illinois board of trustees is set to approve new restrictions on travel and adopt new budgeting practices aimed at greater accountability. (Chicago Tribune)

SECURITY BREACH: University of Texas officials are warning that more computer hackers may try to strike the schools computer system again. Thieves gained access to a university information system and have taken social security numbers and other personal data on 55,200 people. (Houston Chronicle)

SOCCER STADIUM: The Frisco, Texas school district, along with the city of Frisco and Collin County, plans to team up with Hunt Sports Group to build a $65 million soccer complex with a 20,000-seat stadium for the Dallas Burn professional soccer franchise. (Dallas Morning News)

INCLUSION DEBATE: Push for inclusion in Maryland schools could jeopardize the future of a Howard County, Md., school for severely disabled children. (Washington Post)

SUPERINTENDENT OUSTED: A sharply divided board in the Rio School District in Oxnard, Calif., has placed Supt. Yolanda Benitez on administrative leave, upsetting her supporters and prompting allegations that she is the victim of a political coup. (Los Angeles Times)

NEW NAME? Legislation has been introduced in Texas to change the name of Southwest Texas State University to Texas State University at San Marcos, a move supporters say will boost the institution's image. (Houston Chronicle)

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