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The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Thomas W. Payzant to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

The nomination was approved early last month on a 72-to-27 vote, with Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., joining 26 Republicans in opposing it.

Conservative members opposed Mr. Payzant's nomination primarily due to his role as superintendent of the San Diego school district in barring the Boy Scouts from the schools during the school day. Mr. Payzant had argued that the Scouts' exclusion of homosexuals violated the district's anti-discrimination policy.

Mr. Payzant's 30-year career in education includes 20 years as a superintendent in four districts.

Also on Aug. 3, the Senate confirmed Sheldon Hackney to be the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley last week announced the appointments of Eugene E. Garcia to be director of bilingual education and minority language affairs and Thomas Hehir to be director of special education programs.

Mr. Garcia was a professor of education and psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and co-director of the National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second-Language Learning.

Mr. Hehir was an associate superintendent of the Chicago public schools from 1990 to 1992, and previously served for 10 years in various capacities in the Boston public schools. He began his career as a special-needs teacher in Framingham, Mass. Most recently, Mr. Hehir was a senior researcher for the Educational Development Center in Newton, Mass., where one of his projects concerned the use of technology to help students with disabilities.

Neither post requires Senate approval.

About 900 higher-education institutions face elimination from federal financial-aid programs because of the high default rates of their students.

In a default-reduction initiative, the department established a rule that schools with default rates of more than 50 percent, or 40 percent if they have not reduced their rates by at least 5 percent from the previous year, may lose eligibility.

In addition, the 1989 and 1990 budget acts call for a one-year suspension from the Supplemental Loans for Students program for schools with rates of more than 30 percent, and exclusion from the Federal Family Education Loan Programs for institutions with default rates greater than 30 percent for three consecutive years.

In a related development, the General Accounting Office noted in a report issued last month that recent experience suggests 33 of 105 historically black colleges and universities would face suspension from the Federal Family Education Loan Programs when those institutions become subject to default-rate threshholds in July 1994.

President Clinton has nominated Olivia Golden to serve as commissioner for children, youth, and families for the Health and Human Services Department.

Ms. Golden, director of programs and policy for the Children's Defense Fund since 1991, has been a lecturer at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and budget director of the Massachusetts office of human services.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would oversee Head Start and programs dealing with family issues, such as foster care, child abuse, child care, and homeless youth.

The crime bill to be introduced this month by the Clinton Administration and Congressional Democrats will include grant programs to finance "safe schools'' initiatives, boot camps for young offenders, and anti-gang efforts, according to Capitol Hill sources.

The bill will also propose college scholarships for students who commit to serve as police officers and the development of a national background-check system for child-care workers.

Much of the legislation is drawn from crime bills proposed by Congressional Democrats in recent years.

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