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Salary Increase for Teachers Smallest in Three Decades

Teachers' salaries for the 1993-94 school year posted the smallest annual gain in more than three decades, according to a study released last week by the American Federation of Teachers.

The average teachers' pay last year was $35,813, up 2.3 percent from the previous year, the union reported. That was the smallest increase in the 35 years the a.f.t. has analyzed salary trends.

In addition, the figures revealed that teachers' earnings actually decreased last year when adjusted for inflation. Salaries have dipped that low only one other time since 1981.

"In recent years, many teachers have agreed to hold down raises in recognition of their state's budget crunch during the recession," Edward J. McElroy, the union's secretary-treasurer, said in a statement.

Connecticut had the highest average teachers' salary at $50,389, and Mississippi's was the lowest at $25,153, according to the study.

The figures are based on data from the U.S. and state departments of education.

Copies of the report are available for $10 each, including postage, from the American Federation of Teachers, Research Department, 555 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

Different Approaches Urged

Desegregation efforts should not treat all Asian ethnic groups the same, argues a national study of Asian-American enrollment patterns released last week.

The study by Gary Orfield, the director of the Harvard Project on School Desegregation, says different Asian groups have encountered markedly different levels of discrimination and segregation.

Applying traditional desegregation strategies to all of them, the study contends, could produce "odd, even perverse, results."

In general, Asian-American students are far less likely than members of other minority groups to attend schools where they are segregated by race or poverty, and they have surpassed whites in family income and educational attainment, the study says.

Noting that immigration laws have favored highly educated Asians, and that most Asian-American children attend competitive schools, the report asks whether these advantages account for much of the academic success others have linked to Asian cultural values.

The report concludes, however, that there has been an upsurge in the segregation of poor Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders in impoverished central-city schools--particularly in California.

One contributing factor is the relatively high birthrate among low-income Southeast Asian populations such as the Hmong.

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