What's New

Clinton proposes money to spruce up public schools

Washington - President Clinton said last week he aims to raise nearly $25 billion for crumbling schools (see related story, page 20). While Congress supports the idea, it says Mr. Clinton's plan targets inner-city schools and should earmark more money for growing suburbs and neglected rural areas. Last year, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave public schools a failing grade in a survey of the nation's greatest infrastructure problems. The report estimated renovation and repair of America's schools would cost $112 billion. Clinton proposed in his fiscal 2000 budget the creation of tax credits, which encourage investors to buy two types of bonds that would raise close to $25 billion for school repair and modernization.

Up close and personal look at dorm life

Washington - .A new Web site (www.WebDorm.com) lets outsiders get a firsthand look at the dorm life of students from various colleges in New England. Cameras mounted in dormitory rooms let viewers see the students and unedited snapshots of their everyday interactions. Images from the cameras and biographical information about the students are posted on the site. "One of our goals is to break any stereotypes people have of what it is like to be in college and to demonstrate it with the real thing," says Alex Chriss, founder of www.CollegeWeb.com, the site that administers WebDorm.com.

Textbook shortage in Puerto Rico

San Juan- Puerto Rican schools lack 2.7 million textbooks, even as officials begin a $70 million program to supply computers to students island-wide. Education Secretary Victor Fajardo said last week that the schools need to buy $78 million in new books, but he blamed students for losing their textbooks. He said before buying new books, he would impose stricter rules requiring parents to pay for lost materials. A recent education department report showed the island's schools lack 306,000 Spanish textbooks, 1.2 million English books, 291,000 mathematics books, 752,000 science books and 193,000 social studies books. Mr. Fajardo said the education department has set aside $10 million to buy new books for the 1999-2000 school year.

Teachers Interested in writing for us?

We are always on the look out for 600-word columns written by kindergarten teachers on up to college professors. To submit a "Class Act" column, e-mail Amelia Newcomb at: newcomba@csps.com or write to The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

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