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Omaha waits for answers.

Omaha Public Schools is in a holding pattern now. What started last summer as the school board's attempt to enforce an old law has turned into a new law, a new lawsuit and claims of racial segregation.

"As far as the Omaha Public Schools are concerned, we want equal education for all students," says Alicia Peters, a district spokeswoman. "The plan is not to segregate and not to divide the district."

Last summer, the district's Board of Education voted to enforce an old law called One City, One School District, which would have brought 15 additional schools in two districts in Omaha into the Omaha Public Schools. Some have accused the board of trying to boost test scores, as the district has struggled with lagging test scores and more low-income and ELL students.

Gov. Dave Heineman spoke out against the plan and called for superintendents and board members of affected districts to talk.

With an impasse, the state legislature passed a comprehensive bill that would create a so-called Learning Community of 11 districts, including those in the larger metropolitan area. It would establish a super board with members divvying up the common levy and tax revenue, according to Ashley Cradduck, a spokeswoman for the governor's office. And it would provide transportation to students who opt to attend school outside their home district. It's to take effect in 2008-09 school year.

But an amendment in the law, proposed by Sen. Ernie Chambers, Nebraska's only black legislator, would dissolve the district into smaller districts along geographic boundaries, which would create a purportedly mostly black, mostly white and mostly Hispanic district in the north, south and central areas of Omaha.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a lawsuit against the governor and state officials in May in part arguing the law intentionally segregates students by race.


85% of American voters recently polled say Congress is cheating children and jeopardizing the U.S.' economic future if it leaves education programs unfunded or under-funded.

Source: National School Boards Association, national poll

1-1 Laptops Hit South Dakota

In 20 South Dakota school districts. the state's Classroom Connections project will provide incentive money to initiate a one-to-one Gateway tablet PC laptop program for high school students.

It is part of Gov. Michael Rounds 2010 Education Initiative, using technology funds by Citibank. The tablet PC gives student the option of using a full-sized keyboard or a digital pen for handwriting notes directly on the display.
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Title Annotation:racial segregation in schools
Author:Pascopella, Angela
Publication:District Administration
Geographic Code:1U4NE
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:Hope for low-performing high schools.
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