Federal News Roundup
More than 10,000 teachers have told the government they dream of becoming the next John Glenn or Sally Ride, but only one will be the first private passenger in space next November.
Officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration say they received 10,345 applications by the Feb. 1 deadline for the "Teacher in Space" program announced by President Reagan last August.
The winning teacher will not only participate in the November 1985 space-shuttle mission but will also take a year's sabbatical leave from teaching afterward to represent nasa in appearances around the country. A back-up candidate will also be selected to spend a year with nasa, according to Alan Ladwig, manager of the space-flight participant program. The two teachers will be paid by nasa.
Mr. Ladwig said nasa has not yet sorted the applications into categories, but he added that "they seem of high quality." The largest number of applications came from California, New York, Ohio, and Illinois, he said.
Each chief state school officer will now choose two nominees. In June, those candidates will be brought to Washington for a week-long workshop and will be interviewed by a national review panel, Mr. Ladwig said.
Ten finalists will then be chosen, and these candidates will be taken to the Johnson Space Center in Houston in July to participate in medical examinations. nasa will then select the final two participants, he said.
A Washington-based child-advocacy group accused the Reagan Administration last week of proposing to slash "survival programs" for poor children to pay for increased defense spending and tax breaks for the wealthy.
According to an analysis of the President's fiscal 1986 budget request conducted by the Children's Defense Fund, poor children and their families would lose $5.2 billion, while the military would gain $32 billion, under the proposed budget.
"If President Reagan's budget priorities succeed, by 1990 every American will be spending 19 percent less on poor children and families and 86 percent more on defense," said Marian Wright Edelman, the group's president. She continued, "Children and youths are the nation's real security. They are also the most cost-effective investment our nation can make toward assuring its future and strong democratic leadership for the rest of the world."
The cdf's analysis strongly criticized Administration proposals to reduce funding in areas such as education, food and nutrition, and child care. It also accused the Administration of ignoring "the skyrocketing federal tax burden on the working poor while the taxes of the rich have been cut."
In addition to its budget analysis, the cdf also supported the reintroduction in the Congress of a $14-billion "children's survival bill" sponsored in the previous Congress by former Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York, the Democratic party's nominee for Vice President. The bill would expand funding for existing programs such as Head Start and maternal and child health care, would reduce taxes for needy families, and would create demonstration projects aimed at reducing teen-age pregnancy and school-dropout rates.