Mr. Kennedy's plan includes a $40 billion short-term stimulus to help create jobs, relieve state budgets, and revive the economy. That sum would include an additional $1 billion for Pell Grants and the Chapter 1 compensatory-education program and an extra $500 million for Head Start.
The plan also calls for $170 billion in long-term investments over seven years, including $76 billion for education programs. Among the programs benefiting would be Head Start, $27 billion; Pell Grants, $19 billion; and Chapter 1, $14 billion.
At a hearing on the plan this month, Ernest L. Boyer, the president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, urged the government to make Head Start an entitlement; fully fund the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program; create a network of "Ready-to-Learn" clinics; and convene a conference to explore the role of television in teaching.
The Education Department's new assistant secretary for postsecondary education has convened a committee of her staff to develop a reform plan for higher education.
Carolynn Reid-Wallace, who took office last month, said in a recent session with education reporters that the committee will consult with college administrators and trustees, members of higher-education associations, business officials, and political leaders "to articulate an intellectual vision that will serve as a foundation" for the 21st century.
"I have just come out of the academy, and I have seen it from both sides of the fence, and I can tell you full well that we have not, for whatever reason, articulated an intellectual vision," she said.
Known as the 21st Century Committee, the group will report back to Ms. Reid-Wallace this summer. Ms. Reid-Wallace said she told the committee to disassociate itself from conventional thinking and look at the future of higher education "boldly and creatively."
Negotiations are underway to ensure that a Florida-based land developer has sufficient assets to guarantee the establishment of a $35-million trust fund to benefit Indian students as required by an agreement with the Interior Department.
Establishing the trust fund is a condition of an agreement between the City of Phoenix, the Interior Department, and the Barron Collier Company to exchange land that formerly housed the Phoenix Indian school for wetlands in Florida.
The negotiations over the swap, which dragged on for several years, ended last month just hours before a Congressionally mandated deadline.
Under the agreement, the developer must establish an education trust fund within six months, the proceeds from which will be distributed by the Indian Tribal Council of Arizona and the Navajo Nation.
The major issue to be resolved is whether the developer can provide sufficient collateral to ensure that the trust fund becomes a reality. Barron Collier has agreed to pay $3.5 million in interest annually for 30 years and to make a final payment of $34.9 million at the end of that time, a spokesman for Interior said.
The Justice Department will reassign 300 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from counterintelligence and espionage to fighting gangs in 39 cities, Attorney General William P. Bart announced this month.
The F.B.I. agents will work in conjunction with task forces already in place at the state and local levels to combat street gangs, including youth gangs, said Doug Tillett, a Justice Department spokesman.
The redeployment is a direct result of "the breakup of the Eastern bloc," he said. "This is a peace dividend."
New York City and Los Angeles will gain the most agents, each receiving 22. Chicago will get 18 agents and Washington about 15, Mr. Tillett said.
He noted that the move could eventually place more gang members behind bars because federal penalties are often more strict than those of states and localities.