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The Michigan House has upheld Gov. John Engler's veto of a bill that would have forced school energy-improvement contractors to pay workers union wages even for modest-scale projects.

Leaders of the Democratic majority in the House last month gathered only 52 of the 73 votes needed to override the veto.

The measure was designed to enable districts to pay for energy improvements without raising taxes. It would have let districts negotiate performance contracts, under which companies do energy-improvement work in schools and then are paid out of energy savings.

The Governor had supported the concept of performance contracting but objected to language requiring contractors to pay union-scale wages for all energy-improvement projects. Current law requires union-scale wages only on projects valued at more than $12,500.

In other action, the Senate last month rejected several of Mr. Engler's education proposals. It passed measures allocating $1 billion in general-fund money next year for schools, but dropped provisions for funding for "charter'' schools, transportation to "schools of choice,'' and studies of a longer school year.

Gov. David Walters of Oklahoma last week signed a bill doing away with a proposed high-school-graduation test that was to have gone into effect this year.

The bill was prompted by concerns about instituting a graduation test a year before a new statewide curriculum goes into effect, said Carol Paine-McGovern, a policy analyst for the House Education Committee.

Under the previous plan for a graduation test, mandated in 1989, students could not receive diplomas unless they passed the test.

There was also some concern, Ms. Paine-McGovern said, over possible lawsuits filed by students who were being tested on a curriculum to which they had not been fully exposed, as well as over the lack of time for remediation for those who failed.

The new curriculum was mandated in the state's 1990 school-reform law. Officials plan to phase in criterion-referenced testing on the new curriculum over several years.

Connecticut minors will be able to seek confidential testing and health care for the virus that causes áéäó, under legislation signed by Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr.

The Governor last month signed the bill at Stamford High School, where students initiated and organized the effort to permit confidential health services for teenagers.

The new law allows a physician to provide such care to a minor if the physician believes treatment would be denied if the parent was notified.


Gov. George V. Voinovich of Ohio has signed a bill that would nearly halve the size of the state board of education.

An 11-member board will be elected this year from new districts to replace the existing 21-member panel.

While the change satisfies Mr. Voinovich's desire for a streamlined board, the law does not provide for the gubernatorial appointment of panel members, as he had originally proposed. (See Education Week, May 13, 1992.)

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