Senators, Groups Press Own Match-Science Bills
Washington--Although the House of Representatives gave swift approval to an initiative to upgrade mathematics and science education, action on the measure slowed down considerably when the bill reached the Senate education subcommittee last week.
Bills of Their Own Design
Representatives of many of the same education groups that supported the $425-million House bill, HR 1310, also appeared before the Senate. But several of those groups--principally the National Education Association and the National School Boards Association--asked this time for passage of mathematics-and-science bills of their own design.
Moreover, three Senators--Republican Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, and Democrats Gary Hart of Colorado and Lawton Chiles of Florida--spoke in favor of three separate approaches to the so-called mathematics-and-science "crisis."
The field of contenders for the committee's approval also included a measure known as the "education for economic security act," sponsored by the subcommittee's chairman, Republican Robert T. Stafford of Vermont, and its ranking minority member, Democrat Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island.
Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell appeared to push the Administration's block-grant program to increase the number of teachers of high-school mathematics and science.
Aides to the subcommittee chairman and to the chairman of the full Labor and Human Resources Committee said the Senators would be likely to "start from scratch" in evaluating both the House-passed measure and all of the others pending before the committee.
"They'll probably take the best elements from each of the bills," said one staff member.
The subcommittee is scheduled to take up the issue again on April 7 and hopes to have a bill ready for a floor vote by next May, the aides said.--ew