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Forty-five high schools throughout New England have been warned that their accreditation is at risk because of cuts in programs or deteriorating school conditions.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges cited cuts in library services, guidance counseling, lack of maintenance at some school buildings, and unsafe building conditions as among the factors causing the schools to be warned, according to Pamela Gray-Bennett, the group's associate director for public secondary schools.

The number of schools to receive the warning has increased dramatically in the past year, she added.

Six of the 45 high schools face the possibility of being placed on probation, while the 39 others have only been warned, the association said. The names of the schools were not released.

Many school districts throughout the region have had to cut budgets in the past two years as a result of the softening New England economy.

Many of the largest employers in Idaho have sponsored a new report that recommends that the state spend an additional $5.6 million this year, and $100 million over the coming decade, to improve precollegiate education.

The report, which was sponsored by the Idaho Education Project, a coalition of 25 enterprises, recommends that the state move toward a performance-based system that would allow districts local control over how to meet new statewide goals.

Outstanding schools should receive grants of $300 to $500 per pupil and waivers from most state regulations, the report urges.

The study cost $400,000 and took more than a year to prepare.

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