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Education Reporter
Education Briefs 
Schools are using students to promote political causes. Last month, children at two northern Virginia middle schools brought home fliers decrying school voucher legislation pending before state lawmakers. The fliers warned that "to provide school vouchers and tuition tax credits to private and parochial school parents" would "divert much-needed funding away from public schools." The group "People for the American Way" was listed as the contact for additional information, and one of the fliers was printed on PTA letterhead. Virginia lawmakers have subsequently enacted legislation requiring that information sent home with students about political candidates or issues remain neutral. Last spring, schoolchildren in Post Falls, ID were given fliers printed by the PTO (Parent/Teacher Organization) in support of the re-election of two school board members who were sympathetic to their agenda. An assistant superintendent and two principals were reprimanded in that incident for violating the state's ethics code.

Investigators say the cause of a mysterious illness at a Tennessee school was hysteria. The illness closed the school for two weeks in 1998, and more than 170 students, teachers and administrators sought emergency treatment costing nearly $100,000. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that, after a thorough investigation ruled out environmental and epidemiological causes, investigators concluded that mass hysteria (or psychogenic illness) may have been to blame in the majority of the cases.

More colleges are recruiting homeschooled students. Those disclosing that they are homeschooled are among the highest scorers on the SAT and ACT tests, and homeschooled students consistently surpass both their public and private school counterparts in academic achievement. Recent data also show that home schoolers defy the stereotypes. Most have family incomes lower than the median range of $50,000- $60,000, and blacks and Hispanics make up about 8% of the nation's nearly 1.5 million home-schooled students.

inside this issue . . .

Education Reporter is published monthly by Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund with editorial offices at 7800 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 721-1213. The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the persons quoted and should not be attributed to Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. Annual subscription $25. Back issues available at $2.

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