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The Education Department last week published final regulations implementing changes made in the Chapter 2 block-grant program when it was reauthorized in 1988.

The law narrowed the allowable uses for Chapter 2 funds and required greater accountability from state and local officials.

The department altered the proposed rules it published last year, but refused to make most of the significant changes requested by educators who commented on them.

In its April 18 Federal Register notice, the department said its final rules are consistent with Congressional intent. They prohibit most equipment purchases unless they are for an instructional program, require states to distribute extra funds targeted at "high cost" children only to districts with the highest concentration of such children, and make certain portions of the department's general administrative regulations applicable to Chapter 2.

A provision was added specifying that parents of private-school children be including in Chapter 2 planning.


Senator Spark Matsunaga, a Hawaii Democrat who was a member of the Labor and Human Resources Committee and its education subcommittee, died April 15 at the age of 73.

Mr. Matsunaga was an advocate for native Hawaiians, and championed a special program for them in the omnibus education law enacted in 1988.

The Senator was a high-school English teacher before joining the military during World War II. He later earned a law degree, and was elected to the House in 1963. He won a Senate seat in 1976 and joined the education panel in 1983.

A committee aide said no decision had been made as to when Mr. Matsunaga's seat on the panel would be filled.


The Public Health Service should play a larger role in promoting K-12 science education, a task force has concluded.

The panel, which includes representatives from six federal health agencies, said the phs could do more both to increase the public's scientific literacy and to recruit more women and members of minority groups into science careers, ac8cording to Bonnie Kalberer, a member of the task force.

While the group does not want the phs to diminish its traditional support for doctoral and postdoctoral training in biomedical research and the health professions, Ms. Kalberer said, it is suggesting that initiatives for younger students are needed. "It's not enough to wait until a kid is going to graduate school," she said.

The task force's report, which has not yet been released, is part of the Bush Administration's broader effort to draft a coordinated policy on science education in time for the 1992 budget.


Legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop curricula to instill an "environmental ethic" in the nation's young peoplewould duplicate existing efforts, according to the agency's chief.

Provisions of the "national environmental education act," HR 3684, would require the epa to act as the lead federal agency in developing and disseminating conservation-related curricula.

But in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Select Education, the agency's administrator, William K. Reilly, said that "a wide variety of expertise already exists" to develop such materials.

In a related development, Gaylord Nelson, the former Senator from Wisconsin who founded Earth Day, told an audience at the National Press Club last week that fostering a "conservation ethic" in Americans was the nation's most important environmental issue.

Mr. Nelson said he supports laws similar to one recently approved in his home state mandating environmental education in all grades.


The federal government should bolster "supported employment" programs that enable disabled youths and adults to hold jobs in the private sector, state education and vocational-rehabilitation officials argued at an Education Department hearing this month.

The hearing was held to solicit ideas for improving the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A number of programs funded under the law are due to expire in September 1991.

The supported-employment program provides funds for state agencies and private organizations to hire "job coaches" and provide other assistance to disabled citizens entering the workplace.

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