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News In Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Conferees Target Title I Losses

Congressional appropriators plan to give 32 states about half of the money they need to compensate for losses caused by a Department of Education decision to calculate Title I aid using new child-poverty data.

A House-Senate conference committee decided last week to add $101 million to the $7.1 billion program this year to make up for losses in states that will lose a share of their Title I funding because the department will rely on partially updated poverty data when distributing money.

In an amendment to a disaster-relief bill, the Senate voted to appropriate $198 million so every state would receive the same amount it would have netted without the Title I change. (See "60% of Counties To Receive Less In Title I Grants," May 7, 1997.) The House's companion bill did not include Title I money. But a committee working out bill compromises agreed to meet roughly in the middle, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee said last week. Conferees also agreed to fund a four-month, $650,000 study of rising college costs.

President Clinton has threatened to veto the funding measure if it includes a GOP provision to "level fund" programs if he and Congress can not agree on a final budget plan before Oct. 1.

Work Begins on Juvenile-Justice Bill

Giving states and local communities greater flexibility to prevent juvenile crime will figure prominently in the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection Act, a House subcommittee leader said last week.

Rep. Frank Riggs, R-Calif., the chairman of the subcommittee, said a proposed reauthorization plan would consolidate five programs into a block grant for states to use for crime prevention and current grant programs.

The subcommittee views the reauthorization plan as a starting point, Mr. Riggs said. As it stands now, the proposal would authorize funding for local communities seeking to operate delinquency-prevention programs consistent with local crime-prevention plans. Higher-crime areas with multidisciplinary plans would receive priority for funding.

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