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Children covered by Medicaid are four times more likely to get antipsychotic drugs as children whose parents have private insurance, and are more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions, including ADHD and conduct disorders. The powerful drugs have been linked with serious side effects, including extreme weight gain and metabolic changes resulting in long-term health problems. (New York Times, 12-12-09)

A NJ 3rd-grader cried when her teacher told her to put away her Bible during quiet reading time. The principal of Madison Park Elementary School later apologized, saying the teacher made a mistake, and that school policy permits reading any religious book during quiet reading time. (myfoxny.com, 12-15-09)

A federal study reports a decade-long drop in teen marijuana use has ended. About 14.3% of the 8th, 10th and 12th-graders surveyed said they smoked pot during the past year, up slightly from 12.9% in 2007. Researchers also found that fewer teens believe the occasional use of pot and other drugs is dangerous, and cited the national debate over the medical use of marijuana as one reason for students' changing attitudes. "When the perception of the danger goes down, in the following years you see an increase in use," said National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow. (Los Angeles Times, 12-15-09)

New York city parents are paying companies like Bright Kids NYC upwards of $145 a session to prepare their 3- and 4-year-olds for admissions tests for public school gifted and talented kindergarten programs. The recession has made private schools less affordable for parents concerned about the quality of regular public education. "It's quite pricey, but compared to private school, which averages about $20,000 for kindergarten, the price is right," said parent Melisa Kehlmann. "I just want the opportunity to have a choice." (New York Times, 11-21-09)

January 2010 Education Reporter
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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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