On the horizon
The long-awaited regulations for the revised Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are on the horizon, according to the Department of Education.
Barring unforeseen problems, the regulations will be issued around the end of this month, said Thomas Hehir, the director of the department's office of special education programs, said at an Education Writers Association conference in Boston on Nov. 6.
In the omnibus spending bill approved last month, Congress required the department to release the rules before Dec. 1. The IDEA was amended in June 1997, and OSEP had originally planned to release the final regulations in April.
Though the New York Yankees capped the season with a four-game sweep of the World Series last month, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley can't stop talking about baseball.
In numerous speeches in recent months, he has referred to rival home run record-breakers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa--sometimes to add a little color, sometimes to deflect attention from President Clinton's political troubles.
"Why is family involvement in education so important?" he asked at a Nov. 4 event. "That's a real softball of a question--you don't have to be a Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa to hit that one out of the ballpark."
At several speeches earlier this year, as details of Mr. Clinton's affair and related accusations of criminal wrongdoing came to light, Mr. Riley recycled the same joke: "I know you think I am going to speak on the great controversy ..."
The punch line: "It is my hope that Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire tie."
Mr. Riley's spokeswoman, Julie Green, said the secretary isn't particularly fanatic about the sport, but like many people this year, he got caught up in the race to set a new home run record.
"He thinks they're both heroes and good role models," she said. And, no, he wasn't terribly disappointed when Mr. McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals edged out Mr. Sosa of the Chicago Cubs for the record with 70 home runs in one season, she added.
--JOETTA L. SACK email@example.com
Vol. 18, Issue 12, Page 15