Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.
Bush Education Initiatives
S 695, HR 1675
The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing Aug. 2 on President Bush's education initiatives. The panel's chairman, Augustus F. Hawkins of California, reiterated his opposition to the package. He said it would offer nothing substantially new and could bleed funding from existing programs. The plan includes a merit-schools program, teacher awards, alternative-certification grants, and science scholarships.
The Senate on Aug. 4 passed legislation establishing a panel of educators, psychologists, and television experts to distribute federal funds to producers of children's educational programming. (See page 29.)
On Aug. 2, the House approved, on a 365-to-58 vote, an appropriations bill providing the Education Department $23.8 billion in funding for fiscal 1990.
S 1310, HR 3123
A comprehensive literacy initiative was introduced in the House last month, joining a similar bill that has already received a Senate hearing. (See page 29.)
The House Education and Labor Committee July 26 approved legislation that would authorize $500,000 a year to bring hearing-impaired students to Washington for seminars and internships, in honor of the late Representative Claude Pepper, Democrat of Florida.
S 1484, HR 24
The House on July 31 and the Senate on Aug. 2 passed bills on the school-breakfast and -lunch programs. (See page 27.)
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee July 27 approved a measure authorizing scholarships for college students majoring in science, mathematics, or engineering. (See page 29.)
The House Human Resources Subcommittee held a July 28 hearing on legislation that would offer states interagency-planning grants to coordinate federal and state education and other programs designed to aid children. The bill would also require a White House conference on youth policy and direct the Department of Health and Human Services to maintain its administration on children, youth, and families.
S 1430, HR 717
The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on Aug. 2 approved a $330-million bill to establish community- and national-service opportunities across the country. (See page 29.)
In the Education Department
The department has issued final regulations for adult-education and literacy programs implementing changes made in last year's omnibus reauthorization law. The law requires states to focus on the most disadvantaged, least skilled adults and to develop long-range plans for reaching them. The rules were published in the Aug. 21 Federal Register.
The department has published final rules for a new federal grant program designed to provide handicapped individuals with greater access to assistive technology, such as computers and lap boards. The rules, published in the Aug. 14 Federal Register, differ from a version proposed in April in one major respect: In the final version, the department said that, in deciding which states will win grants, it will give more weight than previously proposed to the degree to which states include disabled people in setting up their own assistive-technology programs.
Mathematics and Science
The department has issued final regulations for the mathematics- and science-education grant program. In addition to implementing changes made in the program by last year's omnibus reauthorization law, the new rules allow states to require school districts to revise their applications, or even reject them, if the districts have not shown "adequate progress" in meeting the program's goals. The regulations were published in the Aug. 10 Federal Register.
Research Grants for Teachers
Proposed Funding Priority
The department has proposed setting aside some 1990 discretionary research-grant funds for projects led by teachers in public or private elementary and secondary schools. Projects could address such subjects as teaching methods and processes, school management, teacher and student evaluation, and the application of research to schools. The department established a similar priority for fiscal 1988 and 1989. Only $35,000 was allotted in 1988, and the department did not fund any projects in 1989. The proposal was published in the Aug. 9 Federal Register; comments are due by Sept. 8.
The department has proposed amending the regulations governing the Training Personnel for the Education of the Handicapped Program. Under the rules, the department would base its annual grants for the state training programs on each state's special-education enrollment, rather than awarding the same amount to all states. The proposal was published in the June 7 Federal Register; the deadline for comments is Sept. 21.