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Minority student issues on agenda

A meeting Monday will address matters including the school district's choice plan.

By JON WILSON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 9, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- The school district's choice plan and minority participation in school activities are among topics that officials will address at a meeting Monday about educational issues affecting African-American students.

Charter schools and the school district's unitary status -- a term that means integration has been achieved -- also are on the agenda at the 7 p.m. meeting at the James Weldon Johnson Branch Library, 1154 18th Ave. S.

Each of the topics is part of the federal court order guiding the school system's operation from this year through 2007.

The meeting is one in a series being conducted by the African American Voters Research and Education Committee and other organizations, including the NAACP, the Urban League, the Interdenominational Ministerial Association, the Panhellenic Council and the Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free St. Petersburg.

School Board lawyer John Bowen and choice plan director Jim Madden will talk about the issues. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Among topics expected to be discussed:

Which schools youngsters will attend for the next several years under the choice plan, and the school district's plan for providing choice schools for special education studentes.

The school district's position on charter schools south of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.

How unitary status is measured and monitored.

Steps that are being taken to ensure proportionate African-American representation in extracurricular activities besides sports.

Suspensions and expulsions by race, gender and grade level, and the continuing education provided for youngsters that are expelled.

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