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Education funds tagged as 'pork'

Washington - Congress directed more than $1 billion to specific colleges and universities in the federal budget this year, a record for a noncompetitive process critics assail as pork-barrel spending, The Chronicle of Higher Education said in a report issued Sunday.

The most earmarked grants - money not shared with other schools, businesses, or agencies - went to California at $64 million, followed by Texas and Mississippi. The single biggest recipient was Loma Linda University in California, with $36 million for medical research and to retrofit a building against earthquakes.

Critics call the funding, which is not subject to review by the agencies directed to give out the money, "pork" - gifts from members of Congress to their districts. But defenders say schools have to find money wherever they can, and that no member of Congress wants to risk looking foolish by throwing money at a bad project.

G-8 leaders outline education initiatives

Okinawa, Japan - Leaders of the world's seven largest economies and Russia committed to eradicating illiteracy at the G-8 annual summit last week. Citing 120 million children not enrolled in school and 880 million adults who cannot read or write, they announced their "global initiative" on education Sunday, the final day of the summit. The Clinton administration's contributions include a Department of Agriculture nutritional program to feed 9 million children in impoverished nations and encourage them to attend school, a $1 billion increase in the World Bank's lending for basic education in developing countries, and a 50 percent increase in other US assistance programs in President Clinton's 2001 budget designed to strengthen education in impoverished countries.

Iran allows brighter girls' uniforms

Tehran,Iran - Iranian girls can swap their dark school uniforms for pinks, bright greens, or light blues, following an official directive last Tuesday. The looser color guidelines are meant to "create freshness, joy, and hope," according to an education-ministry statement.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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