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Nine out of 10 city officials believe that child care is the most pressing unmet need of children in their cities, according to a new survey of 390 cities by the National League of Cities.

Ranking second was substance-abuse prevention, with 42 percent of the cities listing it as a pressing need in their communities, and third was education-related issues, with 33 percent of cities citing it as an unmet need.

The findings are contained in a 118-page report, "Our Future and Our Only Hope," that offers city officials' views on a host of problems facing children and families, as well as descriptions of their current and projected involvement in addressing these needs.

While many city officials believe that their involvement with children's issues will increase over time, the survey found, 50 percent of all cities surveyed--and 70 percent of the largest cities--cited lack of funding as the major impediment to expanding services.

The report also contains a compendium of "success stories" of programs that address the range of identified problems, including names and addresses of people who can provide further information.

Copies of "Our Future and Our Only Hope" are available for $15 each from the National League of Cities, Office of Publications, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004; or by phoning (202) 626-3000.

Students and school staff members infected with the aids virus should be able to go about their normal activities without fear that their condition will become public knowledge, according to new guidelines published by the National Association of State Boards of Education and the Centers for Disease Control.

Because the virus that causes aids is not transmitted by casual contact, states the booklet, "Someone at School Has aids," infected students and staff should not be discriminated against or limited in activities solely because they test positive for the virus. Only a serious secondary infection, such as tuberculosis, which is easily transmissible, would be grounds for action, the report says.

Parents and staff members need not notify school officials of an infection unless a physician has determined that a secondary infection exists, the report states. But, once reported, school officials should keep the information confidential.

Several education groups, including the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, have endorsed the guidelines.

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