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Capital Update

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Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.


Legislative Action

Balanced Budget
H Res 268
The House July 17 defeated a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

Child Care
HR 3
House and Senate education conferees reached agreement June 19 on some parts of a bill to help families obtain and pay for child care, but the House voted the next day to instruct conferees to repudiate the agreement. (See page 42.)

Children's Television
HR 1677, S 1992
The House and Senate have passed bills that would limit the amount of advertising allowed during children's television programming.

Disability Rights
President Bush July 26 signed a measure barring discrimination against people with disabilities in employment and accommodations.

Dropout Prevention
HR 5140
The House on July 10 passed a measure that would require districts and state departments of education to develop dropout-prevention plans.

Drug Education
HR 5124, HR 5064
The House July 11 passed two bills expanding school anti-drug programs. HR 5124 would increase penalities for drug-related crimes in Drug-Free School Zones; provide more money for training teachers, counselors, and other school workers; and provide $5 million to expand model programs to other areas. HR 5064 would authorize $15 million to expand dare, a program that brings police officers into the classroom.

Education Budget,
Fiscal 1991
HR 5257
The House July 19 approved a fiscal 1991 spending bill that includes a $3-billion boost for Education Department programs. (See page 40.)

Environmental Education
S 1076
The Senate has passed a measure that would authorize $6 million a year to support school-based efforts to educate young people about environmental problems.

Family Leave
HR 770
The House on July 25 sustained President Bush's veto of a bill requiring firms with more than 50 employees to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year to workers to care for newborn infants or ill family members. (See page 42.)

Federal Role in Education
The Joint Economic Committee held a hearing last week to assess how the federal government can best contribute to improving the performance of students and schools.

Head Start
HR 4151
The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee June 27 approved a measure reauthorizing the Head Start program.

Homeless Aid
S 2863
The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee has approved a bill reauthorizing the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, with additional funds to help schools educate homeless children.

Indian Education
The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee last week approved a 1991 spending bill that would allocate $654.3 million for Indian education. A majority of the money, $578.5 million, would go to Bureau of Indian Affairs education programs, but $245 million would be set aside for funding shortfalls during the school year. About $75.8 million would go to the Department of Education, including $56.6 million in grants to school districts and Indian-controlled schools, $12.1 million in special programs for students, and $4.2 million for special programs for adults, such as literacy campaigns.

Judicial Tax Authority
SJ Res 295, HR 683, S 34
The Senate Constitution Subcommittee held a hearing June 19 on a proposed constitutional amendment that would forbid federal judges from imposing tax increases. The proposal responds to Missouri v. Jenkins, in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a judge could indirectly order higher taxes to pay for school desegregation in Kansas City, Mo. Legal scholars testified on both sides of the issue. Also pending are two bills that would bar all courts other than the Supreme Court from ordering tax hikes.

National Report Card
S 2034
The Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities held a hearing last week on a bill that would establish a commission to set and monitor progress toward national education goals.

National Service
HR 4330, S 1430
The House Education and Labor Committee last month approved legislation that would authorize $183 million for youth-service programs, including efforts to encourage schools to integrate community service into their curricula.

Omnibus Education Bill
HR 5115
The House July 20 approved an omnibus education bill that would authorize a total of about $5.4 billion in spending for new programs. (See page 1.)

Radon Testing
S 1697, HR 3370
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee June 28 adopted a measure that would require schools in areas with high levels of radon to test for the gas.

Science Education
HR 4982, S 2114
The House and the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee last month approved separate bills aimed at improving mathematics and science education.

Special Education
HR 1013, S 1824
The House on June 18 approved legislation that would authorize $428 million to renew discretionary programs under the Education of the Handicapped Act until 1994.

In the Education Department

Bilingual Education
Special Competition
The Education Department has proposed a special $12-million bilingual-education grant program for school districts that are absorbing major influxes of new immigrants. The announcement appeared in the July 13 Federal Register.

Technology Education
Proposed Regulations
The Education Department has published regulations for the new Technology Education Demonstration Program. The announcement appeared in the July 9 Federal Register; comments are due August 23.

Upward Bound Math and
Science Centers
The Education Department plans to use Upward Bound funds to establish up to 30 regional centers offering intensified math and science curricula to Upward Bound students next summer. The announcement appeared in the July 17 Federal Register; applications are due August 17.

In Federal Agencies

Boot Camps
The Justice Department's office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention is seeking applications for funding for a model "boot camp" program for juvenile offenders. The announcement, which appears in the July 12 Federal Register, calls for proposals for an incarceration program for offenders under age 18 that stresses "military style" drills and discipline, as well as remedial-education efforts, drug testing, and counseling.

School-Lunch Program
Alternative Counting Methods
The Agriculture Department is seeking applications for pilot programs that will allow schools and state education officials to test alternative ways of determining how many children eat school lunches. The announcement appeared in the July 11 Federal Register.

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