National News Roundup
Financial-aid forms for college loans from the federal government and state and private sources--which are usually distributed to students this month--won't be available until next year because of a delay in a ruling on a lawsuit filed against the Education Department, a department official said last week.
The delay in the ruling on the case, in which a student-advocacy group opposes a new federal rule prohibiting federal payments for processing of student-loan applications by private firms, has resulted in "the entire student-aid application process for the whole government being held up," said James W. Moore, director of the office of student financial assistance.
Mr. Moore defended the government's position, saying students can apply for federal loans using free forms provided by the department. Prior to last year, students could also use the forms of the College Board or the American College Testing company free of charge if they were applying only for federal loans. The firms began charging students $6.50 for the service last year, when the government began refusing to reimburse the private companies. The suit seeks a return to the government's previous practice.
The laws that give the Congress power to veto federal regulations--including those governing education programs--were declared unconstitutional last month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The unanimous opinion by eight judges found that by vetoing regulations issued by the executive branch, the House and Senate "violate the principles of separation of powers" set forth in the Constitution. The ruling was issued in a lawsuit over a Congressional veto of Federal Trade Commission regulations that govern the information provided to consumers by used-car dealers.
The implication of that ruling for federal education regulations--nearly all of which are subject to the "legislative veto" under the General Education Provisions Act--is likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments on Dec. 7 in a case involving a veto by the House of Representatives of a decision by the U.S. Attorney General in a deportation case.
Executive-branch officials have, through several recent Presidential administrations, opposed the legislative veto as unconstitutional. The Reagan Administration took a similar position in the lawsuit decided last month and in the case pending before the Supreme Court.
Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell has told Congressional leaders that he "fully anticipates" that additional changes will be made to the Reagan Administration's controversial proposal to revise existing regulations for the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.
In letters to House and Senate education committee chairmen dated Oct. 20, Mr. Bell explained that his department will publish an entirely new regulatory proposal regarding the law, P.L. 94-142, after the public comment period for the current proposed rules ends on Dec. 2.
The Administration has come under heavy fire from the Congress and a number of handicapped-rights advocacy groups for proposing the changes to the special-education rules. In late September, Mr. Bell bowed to that pressure and "withdrew for further study" six of the most controversial sections of the proposed new regulations.
In his letter, Mr. Bell also said that his department planned to pub-lish an "advance notice" in the Federal Register "which will explain to the public the actions I have taken and the department's plans for continuing our review of the regulations."
He also said that the notice would "make it clear" that "department officials intend to enter into discussions with parents, educators, school officials, and representatives of organizations" about plans for the revised regulatory proposal.
A closely guarded Reagan Administration report on draft registration does not lead "inexorably to the conclusion that registration should be retained as vital to national security," according to an anti-draft activist.
Barry W. Lynn, the president of Draft Action, a national organization that opposes conscription, made those comments at a press conference in Washington last week during which he released to the public a copy of the confidential report.
The document was prepared by President Reagan's military-manpower task force and presented to the President last December. It is, Mr. Lynn said, "a very good example of how a suppressed document develops a mystique which is exploited by those in power to justify a dubious decision and to imply that no other real alternatives exist."
The report did not contain specific recommendations to retain registration. Rather, he said, it outlined an option that does not require peacetime registration, but would only require that registration cards be stored at 250 postal centers for distribution to local branches during an emergency. This option, he said, would add two weeks to the amount of time saved by the current system.
Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell has appointed new members to the Advisory Council on Education Statistics and the National Advisory Council on Bilingual Education.
Three economics professors were named to the education-statistics panel, which reviews federal policy governing the National Center for Education Statistics. They are: M. Bruce Johnson, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara; Delores T. Martin, an associate professor at the University of Nebraska; and S. Charles Maurice, chairman of the economics department at Texas A&M University.
The bilingual-education committee, which advises the Education Department on federal programs for students with limited proficiency in English, received nine new members. They are: Cecilia Santa Ana, a migrant-education consultant to the Michigan Department of Education; Beatriz Casal-Andrews, an assistant professor of education at Western Oregon State College; Juan M. Flores, an assistant superintendent in the Dallas Independent School District; Marcia J. Galli, a sex-desegregation specialist at Weber State College in Ogden, Utah; Agnes M. Kerr, a teacher at Burlington High School in Vermont; Berta Perez Linton, an attorney in San Angelo, Tex.; Mary B. Liu, an educational consultant in San Francisco; Judith Valdez Moses, a teacher and administrator at Hargitt School in Norwalk, Calif.; and Moises S. Tirado, a lecturer on foreign languages from Staten Island, N.Y.