The Senate has approved a supplemental-spending bill that would provide an additional $1.2 billion for Head Start in 1992 and also boost allocations for child immunizations and the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Administration officials have said that President Bush will veto the bill if it includes spending beyond that needed to pay for the Persian Gulf war and aid victims of recent natural disasters.
The bill, HJ Res 157, now moves to a House-Senate conference committee.
The additional funds will become available if the President agrees to waive spending caps that were imposed by a budget measure passed last year.
Under the Senate version of the supplemental- appropriations measure, President Bush would have to waive the limitation for each program that stands to get additional aid.
The House version of the measure would declare all the aid in the bill to be emergency funding, thereby exempting it from the spending limitation.
Michael J. Farfell, the Education Department's deputy assistant secretary for student financial aid, resigned last week.
Mr. Farrell did not elaborate on his reasons for leaving.
Appointed last April, Mr. Farrell also served as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education until last Tuesday, when the Senate confirmed Carolynn Reid-Wallace for the position.
Higher-education officials and representatives of a regional accrediting agency last week defended the agency's practice of requiring colleges to meet standards for "cultural diversity."
The officials said that, contrary to assertions by the Education Department, the requirement is accepted by all 509 members of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Commission on Higher Education, Middle States' accrediting wing, "does not create its own definition of diversity as a condition for accreditation,'' said Carolyn Press Landis, a commission member.
"It does not impose a diversity standard on member institutions," she continued. "It does not define what an institution's diversity objectives should be. It measures an institution's excellence against the institution's mission."
The remarks came at a hearing of the 15-member federal Advisory Committee on Institutional Accreditation and Eligibility, which early next year will make a recommendation to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander on whether to renew federal recognition of Middle States.
Such recognition is required for schools accredited by Middle States
to participate in federal financial-aid programs.