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Missouri Faces Increase In Dropout Rate by 1999

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The dropout rate for Missouri high school students could rise to nearly one-third by the end of the decade, a state education official has predicted, based upon rising dropout rates at several large Missouri districts.

Russell McCampbell, the state's assistant commissioner for adult and vocational education, warned of the trend in a speech to local school guidance counselors earlier this month.

If the existing trends persist, Mr. McCampbell said, the state's high school dropout rate, which is currently 28 percent, could rise to 31 percent by 1999.

Tobacco Crackdown

Under pressure from the Massachusetts attorney general, the company that makes Skoal smokeless tobacco has said it will take steps to prevent free samples from ending up in the hands of Massachusetts minors.

The U.S. Tobacco Co. agreed to require copies of driver's licenses and to take other precautions before mailing free samples of its product.

The company also agreed to contribute $40,000 to a fund for consumer programs in that state.

The agreement came after a state investigation found that 22 Massachusetts minors received free samples of Skoal merely by writing on a coupon that they were over 18 years old.

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