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The study was required by the department's office for civil rights in return for dropping a complaint against the district's program for language-minority students.

During the controversy, the Education Department had threatened to cut off the district's federal funds.

Overall, the school officials found that non-English-speaking elementary school children appear to progress faster than their older counterparts, conclusions that mirror other researchers' findings.

The study, called "Report on the English as a Second Language Pro-gram, 1980-81," found that achievement scores of elementary students enrolled in the esl program compare favorably to students in the district's regular program.

Secondary-school students "made steady progress," but still scored comparatively lower than elementary-school students "at every stage of the esl program."

On a state mandated competency test in reading, the average score for 10th graders in the esl program was 60 percent as opposed to a countrywide average of 98 percent for 10th grade students in regular school programs.

The report also notes that the dropout rate for limited-English-proficient students during the 1980-81 school year was 1.8 percent while the rate was 2 percent for the total student population.

The Columbus, Ohio, school system has found an innovative way to make a little money from closed schools--not by leasing or selling the buildings, but by renting out the two parking lots at Central High School.

The school, which closed over the summer because of declining enrollment, is located just a few blocks from the city's congested central business district. After spending about $8,000 to fill potholes, repaint lines, and install gates, the school system was to open the lots to patrons this month.

If all 340 parking spaces are rented on a quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis, school officials say, the district may realize more than $60,000 per year.

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