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The default rate for Parental Loans for Students increased dramatically between 1989 and 1991, according to a study by the General Accounting Office.

For students attending colleges and universities, the loan-default volume increased from $8.8 million to $29.7 million between 1989 and 1991, or 237 percent. For students at proprietary schools, the default volume increased from $10.1 million to $26.4 million, or 161 percent.

Defaults in the Supplemental Loans for Students program also increased between 1989 and 1991. For students attending colleges and universities, the default volume rose from $39 million to $115 million, or 195 percent. For students in proprietary schools, it rose from $245 million in 1989 to $460 million in 1990, but then dropped to $419 million in 1991.

The Senate approved a bill last week that would provide tax breaks and federal aid to distressed urban and rural areas in an effort to attract private investment.

In addition to the "enterprise zone'' plan, which would increase education aid in some areas, the Senate version of HR 11 also would amend and revamp child-welfare programs.

A conference committee was to begin work on the measure late last week. President Bush has indicated he may veto the bill.

The basketball star Earvin (Magic) Johnson late last month resigned from the National Commission on áéäó, charging the Bush Administration with ignoring the panel's recommendations and fighting the disease only with "lip service and photo opportunities.''

Mr. Johnson was appointed to the commission last November after he revealed to the public that he was infected with the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

In his letter of resignation to President Bush, Mr. Johnson wrote: "I cannot in good conscience continue to serve on a commission whose important work is so utterly ignored by your Administration.''

Nearly 150,000 Americans have died from the disease since 1981.

Spokesmen for the Administration defended the President's record, noting that he had proposed spending $5 billion this year to combat the disease.

Mr. Johnson, who last week also announced that he would resume his professional-basketball career, said he intends to continue supporting áéäó research and testing through a foundation he established last year.

The General Accounting Office disagrees with the Bush Administration's declaration that the Education Department's student-financial-aid operations are no longer highly vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Office of Management and Budget initially placed the student-aid office on a watch list in 1989. In a new report, the G.A.O. asserts that the office should have stayed on the list and that the budget agency overstated the department's efforts to solve the problem.

The Congressional watchdog agency asserted that "material weaknesses'' remain in the department's process for closing grants and contracts. The budget office had noted that grants and contracts often remain on the department's books long after projects are complete, potentially allowing grantees to draw funds against defunct grants and contracts.

Vol. 12, Issue 05

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