Some 22 percent of Carroll residents 25 years and older have not graduated from high school, recently released census figures show.
Ofthose residents, 6,681 have less than a ninth-grade education; 10,368 completed school levels up to 12th grade but did not earn a high school diploma.
"That's not surprising, not really," said Larry Norris, supervisor of alternative programs for Carroll schools. "In some circles, those percentages are even higher. There's a large group of potential students out there."
The 1990 census figures, based on a sampling of one in six Maryland households, profile the state's people and their housing, education, work and income. Only data for Maryland's largestjurisdictions were released.
The median family income in Carroll,for example, is $46,491, higher than the Maryland median of $45,034,Baltimore County's median of $44,502, and Baltimore's median of $28,217. Carroll's figure is lower than Anne Arundel's median of $49,706,and Howard County, with $61,088.
Marylanders in the Baltimore metropolitan area had slightly more education than their Carroll counterparts: 78.5 percent of Carroll's residents 25 and older had high school diplomas, compared with 81.1 percent in Anne Arundel County, 78.4 percent in Baltimore County, and 91.1 percent in Howard County. Only Baltimore was lower, with 60.7 percent.
In recent years, the Carroll school system has worked with community and social organizations to improve the referral process to reach the population without high school diplomas, Norris said. In addition, he said, the alternative education program has taken a multimedia approach to attract students to the county's programs.
"I think we're going to break enrollment records with over 900 students this year," Norris said. "It's an all-time record for us. That's only adults coming back to school who havenot received diplomas while attending school."
Some 19.6 percent of the county's 79,153 residents over 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher. Carroll's percentage is higher than only Baltimore, with 15.5percent, in the metropolitan area.
In Anne Arundel, 24.6 percent of the residents have higher education degrees; in Baltimore County, 25 percent; in Howard County, 46.9 percent; statewide, 26.5 percent.
Among the statistics in the census was the number of Carroll households without complete plumbing facilities (239), and without complete kitchen facilities (186).
"That doesn't strike me as odd," said Janet B. Flora, chief of the county's Bureau of Aging. "We still havea lot of country lanes. We still have a lot of people who are not intouch with more developed areas. It strikes me as highly possible."
Flora said the number of homes without plumbing or kitchen facilities is less than 1 percent of the county's 43,553 households.
Liz Passman, senior information and assistance coordinator for the Bureauof Aging, said many of these residents are in their 80s and have lived their entire lives without indoor plumbing. Many live in homes built before building codes were in place.
"There seems to be little pockets in the county where we have cluster of homes without indoor plumbing," she said.