News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
SLC Extends Application Window For E-Rate
Schools and libraries applying for federal discounts on telecommunications have received a precious gift of time.
The Schools and Libraries Corp., which runs the "E-rate" program, has extended to 100 days the interval during which any application for the second year of education-rate discounts will be accepted on an equal basis with the others.
The filing window was originally 80 days, starting Dec. 1. Now the window will close March 11.
None of the applications that missed the 75-day filing window for the program's first year were awarded discounts, according to the SLC.
The extension is meant to allow schools and libraries more planning time and will accommodate those applicants that have not yet been notified of their discounts for the first round.
Department Releases School Reform Planning Guide
A new book from the Department of Education is designed to help school districts with large numbers of low-achieving, high-poverty students plan schoolwide reform programs.
The Idea Book on Planning: Implementing Schoolwide Programs, Volume I, which focuses on program planning and combining resources, contains examples from schools that have designed comprehensive programs to serve all students instead of pulling struggling students from regular classrooms for separate remedial instruction.
The 178-page book also lists print, video, and Internet resources for planners of schoolwide programs.
Free copies can be ordered through the Education Department's World Wide Web site: www.ed.gov, or by calling (877) 433-7827. A second volume in the schoolwide series is expected to be ready later this year.
Plan Seeks To Reduce Violence Against Children
President Clinton has launched an effort to reduce the violence that affects nearly 3 million American children each year.
The plan, the Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, calls for changing federal law to allow courts to convict defendants of murder in the death of a child without proving the defendants' intent and to extend their jail terms.
It also recommends enacting other proposals to improve the way courts treat child victims and witnesses, and bolstering local prevention and intervention programs with federal support.
The initiative was launched Dec. 29 with an announcement that the Department of Justice would award $10 million in "Safe Start" grants to help up to 12 cities reduce the impact of violence on young children.
The agency will spend about $12 million on training videos, manuals, and other guides for law and court officers. In addition, the White House will hold a summit in May on children and violence.
In 1996, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 3 million children under 18 were victims of abuse or maltreatment. According to the Justice Department, the bulk of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery are committed against victims 18 to 21 years old.
Vol. 18, Issue 18, Page 24