Federal News Roundup
The 15 members of a committee appointed by former President Carter to advise the Education Department on school-finance policy have been replaced by Reagan Administration appointees, the White House announced this month.
The group, the Advisory Panel on Financing Elementary and Secondary Education, was created by the Congress in 1978 to make recommendations to the President in conjunction with the department's School Finance Project. Both the panel and the project--a research unit working under the auspices of the National Institute of Education--are scheduled to be terminated at the end of this year.
The committee is one of eight advisory groups in the department whose members are appointed by the President. Although previous Presidents have permitted members to serve their appointed terms, President Reagan has begun replacing all members of most of the committees.
In the past two years, the school-finance panel--which included as members the heads of the two national teachers' unions, a Democratic governor, and a chief state school officer--has issued annual reports calling for the federal government to maintain its current financial commitment to education programs. The new panel members are not expected to make such recommendations, ed sources said last week.
The new committee members are:
Walter R. Beer Jr., a business manager in Windsor, Vt.; Joseph P. Dano, a school principal in Honolulu; Richard M. Dellinger, an Indiana state legislator; Richard M. Eyre, a management consultant in Salt Lake City and author of a book on home schooling; Warren K. Hall, an English teacher at the Shattuck School in Faribault, Minn.; Claudia H. Hampton, a retired professor from Pepperdine University in California; Paul R. Hess, a Kansas state senator; Jane G. Hunter, a homemaker in Clemson, S.C.; Judith E. Madonia, a teacher in Springfield, Ill.; Connaught C. Marshner, a lobbyist on pro-family issues for the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation in Washington; Clark Maxwell Jr., a Florida state senator; Wiley Mitchell, a Virginia state senator; Nicholas M. Nikitas, a businessman in Worcester, Mass.; Max Rafferty, a distinguished professor of education at Troy State University in Alabama and former California superintendent of public instruction; and Henry M. Ramirez, a businessman in Los Angeles.
As the Education Department prepares to meet its June deadline for announcing proposed revisions in regulations governing education programs for handicapped children, several key members of Congress have asked Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell to allow an extended public-comment period before the regulations are published in final form.
Because the proposed regulations for P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, would be published while most schools are on summer vacation, the Congressmen have requested that the department allow a 120-day comment period.
The traditional 60-day period would not sufficiently permit "those most affected by the regulations ... to thoroughly analyze, digest, and respond to them," said a letter from the members of the House Subcommittee on Select Education.
"It took a year for the Department of Education to change the regulations; therefore, the public should have enough time to respond," said a similar letter signed by members of the Senate Subcommittee on the Handicapped.
A spokesman for the department said last week that no decision had been made on the length of the comment period.