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Fixing Failing Schools

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President Clinton has ordered the Department of Education to help cities and states find ways to deal with failing schools. This doesn't mean new money. The department is to use existing programs. In extreme cases, the cities and states would be urged to shut a school down.

Current federal programs can be used to pay for tutoring, teacher training, summer and after school programs, according to the presidential directive.

Fine. But here's a question: If the resources have been there all along, why haven't they been used before this? Why is targeting and fixing failing schools a new effort?

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