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The U.S. Education Department has opened competition for a second round of awards in its Star Schools demonstration-grants program.

According to an announcement in the March 21 Federal Register, multi-state partnerships seeking to improve mathematics, science, and foreign-language instruction through telecommunications will be competing for a share of $14.8 million in federal funding.

The department expects to make between three and five one-year matching grants of approximately $3.7 million each. The deadline for applications is May 16.

Frank B. Withrow, who oversees the Star Schools program for the department, noted that while the legislation authorizes two-year grants, there may be no second-year funding for successful bidders because ed's proposed fiscal 1991 budget includes no money for the program.

The Congress may, however, choose to reinstate funding because the program enjoys widespread support in both the House and the Senate.

Mr. Withrow also said preference may be given to bidders planning to serve the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest, areas that were underserved in the initial round of grants two years ago.

More information is available from Mr. Withrow at the U.S. Education Department, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 555 New Jersey Ave., Washington, D.C. 20208-5644; telephone: (202) 357-6200.

The Satellite Learning Program and Resource Guide is a new resource for educators listing broadcast schedules, target audiences, fees, and other information about programming produced by more than 75 organizations.

The guide is the brainchild of Patsy S. Tinsley, a telecommunications consultant who founded ti-in Network Inc.

An annual subscription to the twice-yearly guide costs $120.

Further information is available from Satellite Learning, P.O. Box 409, League City, Texas 77573; (713) 554-5545.

The Optical Data Corporation has been granted the exclusive rights to distribute gtv, a videodisk-based geography curriculum for grades 5-12 produced by the National Geographic Society.

The newly released "gtv, A Geographic Perspective on American History"--produced in cooperation with the California Department of Education, Lucasfilm, Ltd., and Apple Computer Inc.--is the society's first entry into the videodisk market.

The two-disk package, which includes software for the Apple IIgs, costs $650.

Information is available from Optical Data Corporation, 30 Technology Drive, Warren, N.J. 07060; (201) 668-0022.--pw

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