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Ford Foundation to assist schools serving the needy

The Ford Foundation is offering $1.1 million to high schools that enroll 30 percent of their students from poor families. The City High School Recognition awards from $500 to $20,000 are an attempt to spruce up the image of city schools, officials said.

Despite the impression that urban high schools are ineffective, ''in many schools substantial gains are being made in basic skills, order prevails in the classroom, morale is good, parents are involved, and learning achievements are taking place,'' a foundation spokesman said.

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More than 200 high schools will be eligible for the awards.