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Coin phrase banned in Colorado schools

GOLDEN, COLO. - The board overseeing Colorado's largest school district voted against posting the motto "In God We Trust" in schools except in an educational context. The unanimous vote last week by the Jefferson County School Board came a month after the state education board voted to encourage postings of the motto - which has been on US currency since the 19th century - as a way to celebrate national heritage. But the recommendation left the final decision with local school boards. Supporters said posting the motto gives children a moral compass. Opponents said it's a veiled attempt to introduce religion in schools.

Funding goes to aides, not educators

WASHINGTON - The nation's poorest schoolchildren are receiving more federal dollars than ever, but more than half the money set aside for teaching is spent on aides instead of certified educators, the US Education Department said. A department report examined how funds are spent in six federal education projects, including the $8 billion worth of Title 1 grants meant to give low-income and other disadvantaged children computers, lessons, and teachers. The program has raised controversy in recent years because many districts, which lack a qualified teaching pool, have resorted to hiring aides instead. The report said those aides spent 30 percent of their time teaching classes without a teacher present.

Summer lunch plans don't reach kids

BOSTON - Free lunch programs that feed more than a quarter million state students during the school year fail to reach kids during the summer, when as many as 200,000 children who need the meals don't get them, according to the Massachusetts Department of Education. This, despite a decade-long effort by agencies to connect kids with the food in the Summer Food Service Program. The reasons include the fact that the program is run by groups in each community, and it's often hard to find people with the time and skill to manage paperwork and technical challenges, said Ellen Parker of Project Bread. The problem is especially acute in small communities, where it's harder for school districts to implement plans as smoothly as in cities with large, low-income neighborhoods.

- Compiled from wires

College Students: Interested in writing for us?

We are always looking for college students to write for our "On Campus" column. To contribute a column, e-mail Stacy Teicher at: teichers@csps.com Or, write to The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

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