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Broward school system accused of discrimination

The Broward County school system has systematically discriminated against black schoolchildren by shortchanging schools with mostly black enrollment, an attorney argued in federal court on Friday.

Using figures provided by the school system, attorney Chris Fertig graphed student funding levels at mostly black Hallandale High School and compared them with mostly white high schools.

One set of Fertig's figures show that Hallandale High students received an average of $1,059.29 during the 1995-96 school year compared with an average of $1,633.84 for students at the county's 15 mostly white schools.

Broward School Board attorneys Ed Marko and Marylin Batista disputed Fertig's findings. They also denied Fertig's claims that the school system "intentionally discriminated" against black students by busing them from their neighborhoods to faraway schools.

The hearing is the latest in a string of lawsuits questioning the school district's handling of its desegregation policies.

New rape law is not

much help to prosecutors

JACKSONVILLE _ State attorneys trying to prosecute men who get young girls pregnant say that private doctors and nurses are not reporting such cases, even though they are required to by law.

A state law that took effect a year ago made it illegal for anyone 21 or older to impregnate a girl 15 or younger.

The new statute requires public and private medical workers to report such cases, but prosecutors say they have not received a single referral from private medical workers.

"The ultimate goal of the medical community is to provide medical care. The ultimate goal of the state attorney's office is to prosecute these fathers. A lot of times there is an inherent conflict," said Catherine Berry, chief legal counsel for the health department for Duval and Nassau counties.