A Democratic senator vowed last week to shift funds for defense to school districts that educate military dependents.
"I think the Department of Defense has a responsibility" to contribute, Senator Alan J. Dixon of Illinois said at a hearing on a bill that would give the department responsibility for schools that qualify for impact aid because they serve military dependents. The program, which is now administered by the Education Department, compensates districts for revenue losses due to the inability to tax federal land or workers.
Mr. Dixon had the bill referred to the Subcommittee on Readiness, Sustainability, and Support, which he chairs, and said he would use whatever avenue was available to him to see that it is passed.
The D.O.D. is able to give supplemental aid to military-connected schools, but refuses to do so. Mr. Dixon said he might seek to mandate the aid.
Some witnesses at the hearing warned that transferring part of the impact-aid program to D.O.D. would create a new bureaucracy and force it to compete with defense programs for money.
But educators from districts that get impact aid said the department should assume financial responsibility for such schools.
The chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee last week urged the Budget Committee to give education, health, and job-training programs $14.9 billion more than the amount President Bush proposed in his fiscal 1993 budget.
Representative William D. Ford, Democrat of Michigan, urged the committee to include his "invest in America now" budget initiative in its budget resolution.
Under Mr. Ford's initiative, Pell Grants would become an entitlement, and spending would increase for programs including Chapter 1, bilingual education, impact aid, Head Start, school readiness, job training, child nutrition, and child care.
Although Republicans on the education committee supported the President's budget generally, they suggested that $3.2 billion be added to his education budget proposal.
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Carolynn Reid-Wallace has chosen Gerald Riso to be deputy assistant secretary for student financial assistance.
Mr. Riso replaces Michael J. Farrell, who resigned last year. Mr. Riso will manage federal loan, grant, and work-study programs.
Meanwhile, Robert K. Goodwin, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has been fired. Hazel Mingo, a special assistant to Mr. Goodwin, is serving as the acting director.
In another Education Department personnel matter, the Senate on Feb. 6 unanimously confirmed Lanny Griffith's nomination as assistant secretary for intergovernmental and interagency affairs.