National News Roundup

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The nation's public schools spent an average of $4,890 per pupil in 1989-90, an increase of $283 over the previous year, according to an annual report by the National Education Association.

New Jersey, in the midst of implementing major finance reform, surpassed New York as the state with the highest per-pupil expenditure, $8,439, an increase of $868.

Following New Jersey were New York with $8,094; Connecticut, $7,934; the District of Columbia, $7,407; and Alaska, $7,252. Lowest was Utah, with $2,733 in per-pupil spending.

Picking up the slack from state governments, local governments contributed slightly more (45 percent) in overall funding to elementary and secondary education than they did in 1988-89, while the federal government's share held even at 6.3 percent.

The annual report compiled by the teachers' union showed relatively stable enrollment from 1988 to 1989. Nevada and Florida experienced the greatest growth, climbing 5.8 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. Enrollment in public schools in the District of Columbia decreased the most, 4.7 percent, while West Virginia lost 2.3 percent of its student enrollment.

U.S. schools have earned only a mixed report card in the past 20 years when it comes to educating black students, a recent study has concluded.

Schools are more desegregated, and more black high-school graduates are completing basic academic and college-recommended credits, according to a report released late last month by the National Black Child Development Institute in Washington.

"The Status of African American Children" examines social and demographic changes in American society since 1970, paying particular attention to how black children fare in the nation's health-care, child-care, child-welfare, and education systems.

School enrollment has improved significantly in the past 20 years, the report said, and the large racial differences in the proportion of high-school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 21 have largely vanished.

But black children are suspended and repeat grades much more often than their white counterparts, the study said. More than one-quarter of all black children under age 18 had repeated a grade in 1988. At every age group, black children were almost twice as likely as white children to repeat grades.

And almost 23 percent of black children ages 12 to 17 have been suspended from school, compared with 12 percent of children generally, the report said.

This year's college undergraduates are paying between 5 percent and 8 percent more for their education than last year, according to the College Board's annual survey of colleges.

The average price for tuition and fees at four-year public colleges this year is $1,809, up 7 percent over last year, and costs at two-year public colleges average $884, a 5 percent increase, according to the survey. The average cost for out-of-state students at public four-year schools is $2,948, the survey said.

Students at private four-year and two-year schools are paying an average of $9,391 and $5,003, respectively, 8 percent more than last year, the survey said.

In addition to tuition and fees, students who live in college housing pay between $3,160 and $4,150 for room and board, up 5 percent to 7 percent over last year, and $1,770 to $2,020 for books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, according to the survey.

Students who live off campus are paying between $1,930 and $2,230 for books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, the survey said, and between $1,280 and $1,610 for housing.

Vol. 10, Issue 5

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