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In recent years, the Office of Education's educational assistance program for neglected or delinquent children has emphasized basic skills instruction. Older children generally do not continue schooling once outside of institutions; however, younger children are more likely to return to school following release. The program is unique because it provides assistance annually to over 2,000 institutions, but it needs to be reexamined in relation to the broader national issues of juvenile delinquency and child abuse and neglect. Educational assistance may not be the top priority for institutionalized youth.

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