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Congress Passes Education Bills Before Adjournment

The Congress, shortly before adjourning on Nov. 18, gave final approval to a package of technical amendments to the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 and to a bill reauthorizing programs for the handicapped.

The technical-amendments bill, HR 1035, was intended to "fine tune" the Chapter 1 program for disadvantaged students and the Chapter 2 education block-grants program. It also keeps intact current eligibility requirements for the Chapter 1 migrant-education program, which have been the target of Reagan Administration deregulation efforts.

The Congress passed a similar ecia bill in December 1982, but the President vetoed it because he contested a provision in it that reaffirmed the House and Senate's right to approve or disapprove federal education regulations.

The new version of the bill also requires states to evaluate their Chapter 1 programs every two years and orders the National Institute of Education to conduct a national assessment of the program by 1987.

The other bill, S1341, would create a new $6-million program to help handicapped youths prepare for employment, independent living, and postsecondary education. It also allows states for the first time to serve children from birth under the preschool incentive-grant portion of the law. Currently, services under the law are limited to children ages 3 to 5.

Defense Department Reports Best Year For Recruitment

The fiscal year that ended on Sept. 31 was the best recruiting year ever for the armed forces, the Department of Defense has announced.

"We're getting the highest-quality people we've ever gotten and we're getting plenty of them," said Lawrence Korb, the department's assistant secretary for manpower, during a Nov. 23 press conference.

In fiscal 1983, all four services easily met their recruiting goals for the third consecutive year, the department reported. In addition, a record 91 percent of the enlistees were high-school graduates.

The Air Force had the highest percentage of recruits with high-school diplomas (98 percent), followed by the Marines (92 percent), the Navy (91 percent), and the Army (88 percent).

Re-enlistments also rose in all of the services except the Army, but Mr. Korb said the drop was planned because the service wanted to replace current personnel with better-educated recruits.

Mr. Korb credited "a renewed sense of patriotism" and high unemployment rates in the private sector for the high enlistment rate and the higher quality of the recruits.

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