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Capital Update

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Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.

Legislative Action

Education of the Deaf Act
HR 5483

The House on Aug. 10 approved a measure reauthorizing funding for Gallaudet University, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and programs to encourage deaf and minority students to become special educators. Hearings have not yet begun in the Senate.

Family and Medical Leave
S 5

The Senate last month approved the "family and medical leave act,'' which would require firms with more than 50 employees to grant workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year to care for newborn or newly adopted children or ill family members.

Job-Training Amendments
HR 3033

The House and Senate last month approved the conference report on a bill that would provide better coordination of job-training services and expand the range of services to program participants. The bill is awaiting President Bush's signature.

Head Start
HR 5660

Congress gave final approval last month to a bill that would allow Head Start funds to be used to buy facilities, make it easier to win a waiver of fund-matching requirements, mandate safety standards for vehicles that carry pupils, and increase parental-involvement mandates. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

Rehabilitation Act
HR 5482, S 3065

The Senate last month approved a measure reauthorizing discretionary programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The bill calls on the Education Department to seek public comment on changing the way federal law defines seriously emotionally disturbed children.

School Reform
HR 4323, S 2

The House last month approved legislation that would fund the development and implementation of state and local school-reform plans, and authorize limited work on national standards and assessment. A House-Senate conference committee is expected to begin work this month.

Schoolwide Projects
HR 5660

ongress last month gave final approval to, and President Bush signed, legislation that will allow many schools to continue operating schoolwide projects under the Chapter 1 program by relaxing certain fiscal requirements.


Education Department

Magnet Schools
Proposed Rules

The Education Department has proposed rules that would change the way desegregation plans are assessed for eligibility for the magnet-schools assistance program. The notice appeared in the Aug. 12 Federal Register; comments are due by Sept. 28.

Private Schools
Proposed Standards

The Education Department is seeking public comment on a proposal to relax certification standards for private schools serving publicly placed special-education students. The proposal was published in the Aug. 13 Federal Register; comments are due by Sept. 28.

Special-Education Spending
Final Rules

States will no longer have to maintain or increase spending on every line item of their annual special-education budgets under rules published in the Aug. 19 Federal Register. Overall state spending for special education, however, must remain level or show an increase from year to year.

Standards and Assessments
Proposed Priorities

The Education Department has proposed giving priority under two grant programs in fiscal 1993 and 1994 to projects that support the development of state curriculum frameworks in six subject areas and research and development of new forms of assessment. The notices appeared in the Aug. 3 and Aug. 7 Federal Register; comments are due by Sept. 8.

Chapter 1
Final Rules

The Education Department has published in final form new rules that allow "incidental'' participation by ineligible students in Chapter 1 programs. The rules appeared in the Aug. 27 Federal Register.

Higher Education Amendments
Negotiated Rulemaking

The Education Department published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register a notice that it will host four regional meetings this month to obtain public comment on the development of rules for the Federal Family Education Loan Program (formerly the Guaranteed Student Loan Program).


Other Agencies

School Lunch
Proposed Rules

The Agriculture Department has proposed relaxing some paperwork requirements for the school-lunch and -breakfast programs, and extending a July 1 deadline for meeting other new requirements to Jan. 1. The proposal appeared in the Aug. 26 Federal Register; comments are due by Oct. 26.

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