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A new report by the U.S. Bureau of the Census confirms the time-honored belief that additional schooling results in greater economic returns.

Adults with professional degrees had an average monthly income of $3,871 in 1984, more than five times greater than the $693 average monthly income of high-school dropouts, according to the Census survey. The bureau also found that additional years of education translated into higher earnings at all levels.

For example, high-school graduates reported an average monthly income of $1,045 in 1984. The average monthly income reported by those with additional education ascended as follows: some college but no degree, $1,169; postsecondary vocational training, $1,219; associate's degree, $1,346; bachelor's degree, $1,841; master's degree, $2,288; and doctorate, $3,265.

Among the study's other findings:

Seventy-four percent of all adults surveyed had completed high school. Of that group, 42 percent reported following an "academic" or "college prep" program; 38 percent, a general program; 12 percent, a business program; and 6 percent, a vocational program.

Among the high-school graduates, 93 percent reported having taken three or more years of English. Nearly 80 percent said they had studied algebra; 57 percent had taken two or more years of industrial arts, shop, or home economics; 55 percent had taken trigonometry or geometry; and 48 percent had studied chemistry or physics.

The field of education accounted for about 16 percent of all degrees and 33 percent of all master's degrees among those surveyed. Twenty-five percent of all degrees held by women were in education, compared with 9 percent of those held by men. Respondents with a bachelor's degree in education reported an average monthly income of $1,290; those with advanced degrees in the field reported average income of $2,062.

Copies of the report, "What's It Worth, Educational Background and Economic Status: Spring 1984," Series P-70, No. 11, are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.


More than 150 school districts in 22 states have reached tentative settlements totaling millions of dollars with three large asbestos manufacturers.

Districts must now approve the separate settlements with W.R. Grace Company, U.S. Mineral, and National Gypsum Company, according to lawyers for the schools. While National Gypsum has agreed to pay a total of $8.4 million to schools that contain the cancer-causing substance, terms of the settlements with the other two manufacturers remain confidential.

Lawyers for the districts said last week they were optimistic that their clients would approve the settlements.


The National School Boards Association has named a 17-member commission to study ways that teachers, administrators, and school boards can collaborate on educational improvements outside the collective-bargaining process.

In its charge to the commission, which met for the first time Sept. 30, the nsba states that it "does not seek abolition of collective bargining," but is searching for ways to engage education's "prime movers" in "open communication, characterized by the collegial, cooperative, positive, and harmonious spirit that pervades every successful professional relationship."

The commission--the majority of whose members are elected officials of state and national education organizations--is scheduled to release its final report and recommendations at the nsba's annual meeting in March.

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