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Schools of China's State Firms Face Closure

Many schools run by state enterprises across China are struggling for survival because their financiers are in the red, the Education Herald newspaper said Wednesday.

Schools have become a heavy burden for enterprises, many of them already weighed down by debts and the costs of a social system that still requires them to provide workers with cradle-to-grave welfare. Of China's urban elementary and high school students, 13 percent are enrolled in schools run by state enterprises.

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China's once-dominant state enterprises have been eclipsed in recent years by spectacular growth in private, collective, and foreign-funded companies. In urban areas in northeastern China, 70 percent of enterprises are losing money, and the cash-strapped government is unwilling to take over the schools, the newspaper reported.

In 1994, state firms spent about $542.2 million on elementary and high school education for children of employees, accounting for about 6.5 percent of government spending on education.

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