National News Roundup
Much of the money appropriated by the Congress last year for local drug-education programs remains tied up in bureaucratic red tape at the state level, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The report, based on a survey of 42 cities around the nation, concludes that only a small fraction of the emergency funding has actually been spent on programs aimed at preventing drug abuse.
Officials in only 14 of the cities surveyed were aware that federal money was available for anti-drug efforts in schools, a spokesman for the mayors' conference said last week. Of those cities, he said, only five had actually received funding.
According to Michael Brown, the group's spokesman, the five cities have spent a total of about $1 million in federal drug-education funds. An additional $2.3 million has been allocated by state authorities but not yet spent, he added.
As part of an omnibus bill approved in October 1986, the Congress made $200 million available for school-based drug programs this year.
Of that total, about $181 million has been released by the U.S. Education De6partment, according to a department spokesman.
The president of the conference, Mayor Richard Berkley of Kansas City, Mo., called on federal officials to avoid "a bureaucratic tangle of federal and state checkpoints" by bypassing state governments in the future and transmitting the drug-education aid directly to cities. Any such changes would have to be approved by the Congress, the Education Department spokesman noted.
U.S. West, one of the seven regional Bell telephone companies, will spend $20 million over the next five years on programs aimed at "ensuring educational excellence at the primary, secondary, and postsecondary levels," company officials have announced.
The money will be used to fund existing reform efforts at both public and private institutions and to encourage partnerships between educators, parents, and business leaders, a spokesman said last week.
U.S. West will also create a fellowship program to reward excellent teachers in areas served by the company, which operates local telephone systems in 14 states in the West and Midwest.
The company will pay the salaries and expenses of three fellowship winners while they spend a year improving their professional skills. Eleven other finalists will receive $5,000 cash awards for professional-development activities.
"We have a tremendous stake in educational excellence in our states," Jack MacAllister, chairman of the board of U.S. West, said in a statement. Mr. MacAllister said the company's interest in education had been heightened during its recent search for a site for a new high-technology research laboratory. As part of that process, he said, four company officials toured all the states in U.S. West's service area.
"We saw a renewed commitment to education wherever we went," Mr. MacAllister said. "We also have a strong desire to help in this educational renaissance."
The number of college freshmen declined from 1985 to 1986, while overall college enrollment, fueled by an increase in the number of part-time students, rose over that period, according to a new report by the College Board. The board's annual survey of colleges found that freshman enrollment dropped from 2.57 million in 1985 to 2.49 million in 1986, a 3.1 percent decrease, and that freshman enrollment in two-year colleges dropped even more sharply, by 5.2 percent.
Overall undergraduate enrollment increased by 1.2 percent during the same period, the report found, even though full-time enrollment declined slightly. Part-time enrollment increased by 3.3 percent.