Students with drug convictions lose aid
Almost 7,000 college students who applied for federal financial aid this fall have been denied some or all of it because of a new law, which says students with drug-related convictions can be ineligible for federal grants or loans. The total is less than 1 percent of the 8.6 million students who have applied so far. Students can lose one year of federal-aid eligibility for a first conviction of drug possession, and two years for a second conviction. They can be suspended indefinitely for a third conviction. The US Students Association says it's opposed to the policy because it "denies access to education to those who need it most."
Schools protest Boy Scouts' gay ban
Citing discrimination against gay students, a Florida school superintendent, Frank Till, asked his school board to bar 60 Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs from meeting in Broward-area schools. Till asked the board to terminate the Scouts' leases to meet on school property, effective 30 days after a Nov. 14 vote. He said the Scouts signed a lease agreement saying they would follow the schoolwide policy of nondiscrimination. The Florida Scouts contend they cannot legally be turned away because of their beliefs. Their policy refuses membership to boys or adults who are avowed homosexuals.
Meanwhile, national Boy Scout leaders rejected a request by Rhode Island Scouts to review the group's gay ban. The decision may cause the Providence council to lose financial support and access to government buildings.
Black colleges to get more funding
Texas officials will ask the state legislature for tens of millions of dollars to strengthen two historically black universities. The effort follows a federal review that suggested Texas had not developed the black universities on par with other state universities, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Over a 20-year period, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University would receive state and private funds to create new degree programs, improve existing programs and buildings, contribute to the endowment of new academic posts, and create a merit-based scholarship program.
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