The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
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Murphy Oil Co. committed $50 million over the next two decades to pay college tuition costs and fees for high school graduates in El Dorado, Arkansas, the company’s hometown. The El Dorado program provides local students with scholarship money to use at any higher education institution across the country. ... New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has called for a $1.4 billion increase in school aid. His proposal for a $7 billion increase in school spending in the next four years is being applauded as a historic commitment to the state’s education system. ... Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has proposed a $5 million pilot program to provide laptops for students in seven Arizona schools. Horne wants to build on the success of Empire High School in the Vail School District but proposed a limited pilot program to avoid the problems other states have encountered.
In a sex scandal that rocked a small town in South Carolina, Jill Moore, the cheerleading coach at Ware Shoals High, resigned after being charged with the delinquency of minors. Moore allegedly arranged a motel tryst among cheerleaders and two National Guardsmen during school hours. She also gave the students cigarettes and alcohol. Police also arrested the school’s principal, Jane Blackwell, charging her with hindering the investigation by telling the cheerleaders not to speak to anyone about the case. ... New York City tried to save a couple of million dollars by consolidating school bus routes and in fact eliminated 116. Most stranded students managed to get to school, but more than 20,000 calls from fuming parents flooded a hot line. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein apologized, and the strained relationship with parents seems to be on the road to recovery.
Portsmouth High School in Rhode Island rejected a photo of Patrick Agin in his Society for Creative Anachronism costume as his yearbook picture because of the school’s “zero-tolerance” policy against weapons. His mother sued, and the state’s education commissioner ordered the school to publish the photo. ... At Anza Elementary School in California, parents were outraged to learn that a man volunteering in his son’s kindergarten class was on the state’s sex offender registry. The school reports that Mark K. Vasque included on his application a ruling from the Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner giving him permission. ... A teacher was barred from his classes in Yonkers, New York, for asking seventh graders to draw male genitalia during health class. Although the curriculum calls for anatomy lessons, Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio will ask the board to fire the teacher.