Federal News Roundup
In spite of a recent unfavorable decision by the Federal Trade Commission, a group that monitors children's television is not giving up its fight for federal regulation of advertising directed at children.
The ftc decision, which followed three years of hearings and strong lobbying by the broadcasting, cereal, and sugar industries, says the agency cannot "justify sacrificing other important enforcement priorities" by continuing inquiry into such rules.
Action for Children's Television (act), a Boston group that led the movement for ftc guidelines, is working with its legal counsel, the Boston firm of Bohn and Kaplan, to decide what to do next. Any appeal on the decision must be filed in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals within a few weeks.
Honora A. Kaplan of the law firm said the formal appeal process is but one of several options. "Going back to the Commission and initiating a new rule-making proceeding" is one, she said. Or the group could propose a new, narrower set of guidelines.
The group also has the option of going to the ftc on a case-by-case basis, as it has in the past.
"The problem associated with the case-by-case method is that it is an expensive and time-consuming process for act, or an individual parent, or for the ftc," Ms. Kaplan said.
"There is a long time until the next administration," Ms. Kaplan said, "and we can't just wait three years and hope there will be a change in attitude."
As the Reagan Administration's master plan for reducing the federal role in education goes into effect, a new survey by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that a substantial majority of the nation's school districts in the past few years applied for and received money from the federal government.
The survey--based on a national probability sample of 576 districts--shows that between 1978 and 1980, approximately two-thirds of the nation's 16,000 school districts applied for at least one competitive federal grant. Of these, three-fourths actually received at least one grant.
Many of the grants were made in areas--such as metric education and programs for the gifted--that have been turned over to the states.
It remains to be seen whether the 10,000 school districts will start knocking on the doors of the state capitols to replace the federal funds.
Political support for tuition tax credits may be growing, but the controversial proposal has not yet become law, as one enterprising taxpayer recently discovered.
A Glendale, Calif., father tried to deduct from his federal income taxes the cost of sending two children to Roman Catholic schools--a total of $3,000 for tuition, fees, and books.
The purpose of sending the children there, however, was not educational, he claimed. The man told the Internal Revenue Service he had acted "out of generosity, affection, respect, and admiration for the church." That, he claimed, represented a charitable contribution.
The irs Tax Court, to which the man appealed the agency's disallowance of the 1977 deduction, was not convinced. The father's piety did not "change the fact that the payments here were for tuition," the court said.