National News Roundup
About 40 percent of the nation's large counties face budget deficits this year as the gulf between sagging federal aid and a rising demand for services continues to put local officials in a bind.
Among those counties with populations of more than 100,000 people that are in the red, deficits have averaged $8.3 million this year, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Counties. Financial troubles have hit dose to 70 percent of the large county governments in California, Maryland, and New York, the group found.
Cutting payrolls and programs will be the most popular strategies employed by county officials, since property-tax limitation measures and anti-tax sentiment discourage officials from seeking more revenue, the survey showed.
While this year's financial snapshot is bleak, county officials expect things to grow worse next year. Lower property values and lagging real-estate development will weaken tax bases, the association predicts, pushing an expected 60 percent of large counties into deficit budgets next year.
The Peace Corps has signed an agreement to place returned volunteers in school dropout-prevention programs across the nation.
The agency has agreed to work with Cities in Schools, a nonprofit dropout-prevention program that places social-service providers in schools where they can form one-on-one relationships with students, teachers, and volunteers.
Sarah DeCamp, director of public relations for Cities in Schools, said the combined effort will begin this month in Seattle, where returned Peace Corps volunteers will be hired as project coordinators.
The organization is also identifying universities that will offer graduate programs for the returning volunteers it places.
The Peace Corps has 3,000 returning volunteers each year. Cities in Schools hopes to implement the Peace Corps partnership in 60 communities.
Vol. 11, Issue 03, Page 1