State News Roundup

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A pair of programs meant to bring Kentucky high schools onto that state's reform bandwagon won approval this month from the state board of education, which approved grant funds to encourage at least 50 high schools to begin making changes.

A mini-grant program will award $2,000 each to 40 schools interested in developing one component of high school restructuring, such as curriculum redesign, professional development, expanded technology, or new uses of time. Participants in the program also will receive support from state experts.

An additional 10 high schools will be awarded $7,900 development grants in an effort to weave together all of the restructuring components at once. The schools must either be governed by a school council or in the process of implementing one to win the grants. Officials said the programs were launched in part to offer practical advice to the rest of the state's schools as they come on board as well as to show the need for high school reforms.

While grant proposals are due by January, winners of the mini-grants will have until 1995 to implement changes. High schools winning the larger grants will have until 1996.

Immigration Cost: A new report puts the cost of immigrants in California, illegal and legal, at $18 billion for 1992, with education the biggest single cost to state taxpayers.

That $18 billion represents the cost of 7.4 million immigrants who have settled in the state since 1970, taking into account the revenue they generate. The study estimated that it cost nearly $6 billion in 1992 to educate California immigrants in primary and secondary schools.

The report, by Donald L. Huddle, an economist at Rice University, was released through the Carrying Capacity Network, a group concerned with environmental and population issues.

The Urban Institute and many immigrant-rights groups have challenged the methodology and the findings of the study.

Building-Code Snafu: Some school rooms in New Jersey were built larger than required because the state education department misinterpreted federal law and state building codes, according to the state department of community affairs.

As a result, millions of dollars were spent unnecessarily, especially on school libraries, the community-affairs agency concluded.

The two departments have reached an agreement about how to interpret the codes for future construction projects.

Vol. 13, Issue 12

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