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Ohio Voters Back Majority Of School-Spending Proposals

Ohio voters approved 107 of 191 school-spending questions appearing on that state's presidential-primary ballot on March 19.

The 56 percent approval rate was higher than is typical for education-spending votes in Ohio. School districts there have won slightly fewer than half their ballot requests for tax levies, bond issues, and other spending since 1983.

Voters in Cincinnati passed their third school-tax levy in five months. The tax, which will generate $46 million annually for the city's public schools, won by 72 percent, a record for the district.

Money for Remediation

Nearly $21.5 million in state funding was made available to Indiana school districts this year for remediation, but many districts were slow to claim the money.

All of the state's 293 districts were eligible for the funds to create or maintain remedial programs to help bring students up to statewide academic standards. To apply, each school was required to draft a plan for a remedial program and match the state funding.

The state education department last month began making payments, totaling $6.7 million, to the 161 districts that met the informal January deadline. Of the remaining 132 districts, all but two have since applied for the rest of the funds.

Districts may have been slow to apply because of weather-related school closings and because the money became available after budgets had been approved, making it difficult for schools to match state funds, said Doug Hasler, a consultant for the education department.

Fewer Dropouts

The number of Massachusetts high school students who dropped out of school edged downward last year, as the state dropout rate dipped to 3.6 percent.

In the 1994-95 school year, 8,396 students dropped out of the state's public high schools, a report released last month by the state education department shows. That number is down from 8,512 from the year before, which represented 3.7 percent, the department reported.

Eleventh graders had the highest dropout rate last year, at 4.5 percent. Only 3.1 percent of 9th and 12th graders left school, compared with 3.7 percent for 10th graders.

Vol. 15, Issue 28

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