National News Roundup
A group representing opponents of President Reagan's tuition tax-credit proposal last week delivered to the Congress petitions bearing the signatures of 500,000 people who called for the defeat of the measure.
Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina and Representative Timothy E. Wirth of Colorado, both Democrats, accepted the petitions from the Coalition for Public Education.
"The Administration's proposal was a bad idea when it was first proposed, and it remains so today," said Senator Hollings, who has been leading the Congressional opposition to tuition tax credits since 1978.
The House of Representatives last week voted to create 100,000 public-works jobs for youths and young adults, in a measure patterned after the Civilian Conservation Corps programs of the 1930's.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, largely due to opposition from the Reagan Administration.
The proposed $60-million program, known as the "American conservation corps," would provide jobs in forestry, conservation, historical preservation, urban revitalization, and energy conservation. Out-of-work young people aged 16 to 25 would be eligible for full-time work for up to 24 months, and students aged 15 to 21 could participate during the summer.
The measure--which would be funded largely through the Interior and Agriculture Departments--was approved by the House last year, but it failed to pass in the Senate.
The Reagan Administration's new rules linking federal student aid and draft registration are running into opposition in both the Congress and in colleges across the country.
Late last month, a number of Congressmen urged their colleagues on the House subcommittee on postsecondary education to take action that would delay implementation of the rule until July 1.
Representative Patricia Schroeder, the Colorado Democrat who has sponsored a bill to that effect, said that she is concerned that the gov-ernment is "deputizing the private sector--banks and colleges--to enforce a federal law."
Representative Schroeder said the effective date of the regulations needs to be delayed in order to avoid fiscal and administrative "chaos" in those institutions.
The new regulations, unveiled earlier this year, require all applicants for student aid to provide documentation that they have registered for the draft if they are required by law to do so. If they have not registered, they must provide proof that they are exempt from doing so. Failure to comply with the new rules will lead to the termination of a student federal grants and loans.
Meanwhile, Swarthmore College, the Quaker institution outside Philadelphia that was a prominent site of student resistance to federal policies during the Vietnam War era, joined a lawsuit opposing the regulations filed in Minnesota by the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.
School districts spent $4.7 billion on construction projects in 1982, according to School and College Construction Reports, a construction-trade newsletter. That is 6 percent more than they spent in 1981, but below the 1980 level.
About half of the money went toward new buildings, and about half went toward additions to and modernizations of old buildings. Officials broke more ground for new elementary schools than for new high schools, the report noted, with California, Texas, and Alaska leading the states in construction. Modern-izations and renovations of old buildings rose 16 percent from 1981, while new building projects declined 1.2 percent, the report found.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week said it will not hear a case in which a Nebraska parent was seeking monetary damages against the Omaha school district under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142).
The plaintiff in the case sought damages because the district allegedly violated procedures mandated by the law. The Court's action in Rose v. State upheld a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that damages were not available because no civil-rights violation occurred.
The Justices had ruled last October that monetary damages may be available to handicapped persons in lawsuits brought under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a civil-rights law for handicapped persons, but they had refused to extend the right-to-sue to P.L. 94-142.
The Court also refused last week to review a case in which a deaf student in Wilson County, N.C., claimed she was improperly assigned to a regular classroom instead of a special school for the deaf. Lower courts had ruled in the case, Harrell v. Wilson County Schools, that the school district had complied with federally mandated evaluation and placement procedures.
In addition, the Court, in eeoc v.Wyoming, held last week that the Congress acted within its constitutional authority in 1974 when it required state and local governments to comply with the federal age-discrimination law.