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The Senate has approved a bill that would allocate $30 million to provide education and support services to the families of soldiers who served in Operation Desert Storm.

Under the bill, the Secretary of Defense would target areas that have been disproportionately affected by military deployments for educational and family-support services. Funds could be used to train teachers and school personnel who work with military dependents, and for individual and group counseling for children and their families.

The House, meanwhile, has passed a bill that would prevent the military from assigning mothers on active duty with children younger than 6 months old to positions that would require the child to live away from home. Female reservists with children younger than 6 months old could not be called to active duty. The same restrictions would apply to single fathers who are on active duty or in the reserves.

The Pentagon would also be required to study the effect of deployments on families.

The Education Department has awarded contracts totaling $2.3 million to various agencies for six regional centers that offer educational assistance to American Indians.

The department renewed 11-month contracts for Indian Technical Assistance Centers in Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Washington8State, and Washington, D.C., and also established a new center in Alaska.

The centers will focus on dropout prevention, increasing parental involvement, and improving the self-esteem of Indian students.

They also will support the development of curricula and teaching and counseling methods tailored to Indian students, and help establish adult-education programs.

The centers will use newsletters, toll-free telephone lines, workshops, and seminars to reach their target audiences.

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