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House Postpones Final Action On E.S.E.A. Reauthorization

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Washington

The House last week postponed final action on a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and it remains unclear whether they will resume work this week.

After a day of debate last week on the $12.4 billion measure, the House turned to the fiscal 1995 budget resolution.

During last week's session, the House voted 418 to 1 to approve an amendment that would set aside 20 percent of a state's funds under the drug-free schools and communities program for governors to develop long-term drug strategies.

State agencies receive 20 percent of each state's funding under current law. Rep. Major Owens, D-N.Y., who wrote the drug-free-schools language, said he removed the setaside from HR 6 because governors are not held accountable for how they use the money.

For example, he said, one state used its money to buy radar detectors for squad cars and another sent funds to school districts based on political patronage rather than need.

The House rejected Mr. Owens's argument, and defeated an amendment that would have simply authorized $100 million in anti-drug funds for governors.

Anti-Drug Program Debated

The amendment would also earmark 10 percent of the state funding for Drug Abuse and Resistance Education, a popular program that brings police officers into schools. Funds had been set aside for DARE since the drug-free-schools program was created in 1986, but neither the Administration's proposal nor Mr. Owens's bill included that provision. (See Education Week, Feb. 16, 1994.)

The House last week also rejected amendments to strike the Native Hawaiian Education Program, the Territorial Education Improvement Program, and a provision that would authorize $550 million for technology assistance and research and library media programs.

An aide to Rep. Dale E. Kildee, D-Mich., who chairs the House Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education and is the floor manager of HR 6, said it is unclear whether it will be taken up again this week.

House and Senate conferees must also meet this week to resolve differences between their respective versions of the "goals 2000: educate America act'' to meet a funding deadline. (See story, page 18.)

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