New gains, old lags noted in US black rural schools

In the past decade, the quality of public education in rural, predominantly black high schools in the South has improved in some ways and become worse in others compared with the area's white schools, Monitor correspondent Robert M. Press reports.

While the black schools have more preschool programs, more teacher training, and smaller classrooms than they used to, they are also spending less on equipment and personnel, the Southern Regional Council says.

The council, a civil rights group, studied "black belt" schools in Georgia and Alabama. Its study, just released, found that the greatest increases in spending for rural, black schools came where the school boards were black controlled.

White control of school boards in black-majority systems is often the result of selection of the board through at-large elections or by appointment, says Steve Suitts, the council's executive dir ector.

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