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HOT LINE

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Federal funding\ Q: Why are federal funds for the Chapter 1 program based on the number of children receiving free lunch? Is this discrimination against the middle class? My child is in the Greensboro schools system. B.J.

A: Chapter 1 funds are allocated by the U.S. Department of Education and through state programs, but eligibility guidelines were set by Congress, says Jean Carter, a compensatory educational consultant with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.Depending on the school, these programs may include other language arts and math assistance as well. In Greensboro last year, schools received funds for reading and pre-kindergarden services.

Chapter 1 programs, created by the federal Title 1 Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, provide additional services for educationally deprived children. Research has shown that poverty and low achievement are related.

North Carolina distributes funds to counties based on their income level, which is determined by factors such as census information, the number of people below the poverty level, and the number qualifying for social service programs, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

One of the easiest ways to determine a school's income level is to figure out what percentage of the students are served free and reduced-price lunches, Carter says. That's how North Carolina schools do it. Once a school qualifies, however, students are selected to participate based on individual educational needs.

In Greensboro, participating schools start by selecting children scoring at or below the 49th percentile in reading on the California Achievement Test. Because funds are limited, the lists are usually narrowed to those students with the most needs.

Penalties for speeding\ Q: While vacationing in another state I was pulled over by a highway trooper who said he clocked me at 46 mph in a 35 mph zone. I was lost, and the speed limit was not posted in that area. How will this affect my insurance? Is there anything I can do about this ticket? It's my first. P.R.

A: If you haven't already paid the ticket and you don't plan to fight it in court, your best bet is to call the district attorney in the county in which you were ticketed. If you admit you were speeding and explain you were lost, the district attorney is likely to reduce the violation over the telephone to below 10 points.

Under the N.C. Safe Driver Incentive Program, no insurance points can be charged to your license if you were going 10 mph or less over the posted speed limit, provided the violation did not occur in a 65 mph or school zone and you've had a clean driving record for the past three years.

As it goes now, your 11 miles over the speed limit will cost you one insurance point (it would have been two if you had been in a 55 mph zone) and that typically increases the cost of your insurance by about 15 percent. If your insurance policy is under the N.C. Reinsurance Facility, the increase in cost would be more.

Send your questions and comments to HOT LINE, P.O. Box 20848, Greensboro, NC 27420; or call 272-5635. HOT LINE runs Mondays and Wednesdays.

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