Panel Hears Testimony On AIDS Education
Although states bear the key responsibility for educating children about aids, the federal government should provide support and technical assistance to promote such efforts, a panel of educators told the House Education and Labor Committee last week.
Currently, only 18 states require instruction about acquired immune deficiency syndrome in public schools, according to Connie Hubbell, who testified before the panel on behalf of the National Association of State Boards of Education.
Ms. Hubbell said that in Kansas, where she serves as a member of the state board of education, few districts offered courses on aids education before the state mandated them. "We settled the issue at the state level so there wouldn't have to be the same fight over and over at the district level," she said.
But some committee members suggested the federal government should expand its role.
"There doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency here that matches the risk," said Representative Major Owens, Democrat of New York. He noted that some states requiring instruction on aids do not specify a curriculum, thus permitting districts to teach as little as possible.
The panelists responded that curriculum guidelines recently issued
by the federal Centers for Disease Control would help state and local
administrators establish courses on the topic, and they encouraged the
federal government to continue providing such guidance.
The Senate voted unanimously last week to approve Anthony M. Kennedy's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, ending seven months of controversy over President Reagan's attempts to fill the vacancy on the bench.
Mr. Kennedy, currently a federal appellate judge, was President Rea8gan's third nominee for the seat, which has been vacant since Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. resigned last June.
The funding formula for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act needs adjustment, according to juvenile-justice experts who testified before the House Subcommittee on Human Resources last week.
The $26-million program is set to expire later this year. It provides funds for centers aiding runaway and homeless youths, the national runaway hotline, and demonstration projects.
Several witnesses urged the committee to revise the formula to reflect the number of children in states who are between the ages of 10 and 17, rather than the number under 18, as is currently provided. They said children between 10 and 17 were the most likely to run away.
Other witnesses urged that a revised formula take into account the differing economic conditions among the states, with more aid going to hard-pressed areas.