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Students who complete vocational-education programs have more success finding jobs after graduation than do their peers in the general population, according to preliminary data from a survey of some 800,000 youths by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The survey, conducted in 1979, indicated that the unemployment rate for students who completed vocational-training programs while in high school was 10 percent, compared to 16.5 percent for non-vocational students who entered the la-bor force immediately after graduating from high school.

Students who attended vocational-training classes at postsecondary institutions had a 5-percent unemployment rate, compared to 7.3 percent that year among the general labor force population aged 16 to 34, according to the study.

The Ford Foundation announced last week that it will increase from $1.5 million to $2.5 million the amount it spends on programs to reduce teen-age pregnancy and alleviate the attendant problems in urban areas.

The money will go to community programs to aid pregnant teen-agers and teen-age mothers in completing high school, finding work, and avoiding dependence on welfare. The grants will also support projects to prevent pregnancy.

The grants will be used to expand existing Ford Foundation-supported programs in Boston, New York City, Phoenix, Baltimore, and Riverside, Calif.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has awarded more than $100,000 to six states for policy studies in education finance.

Arkansas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Vermont, and New Hampshire will use their money to explore ways to improve finance in elementary and secondary education. Massachusetts is to develop a data base for personnel and budgeting in higher education. Sixteen states applied for the grants.

State Senator Anne Lindeman of Arizona, chairman of the conference's education and labor committee, said this year's response to the grants project was the largest in its five years in operation.

"It reflects the need, so critical in this time of federal retrenchment and shifting responsibilities, for in-depth, state-specific research in education finance," she said.

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