News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Commission To Examine Funding Disparities
A flurry of actions by President Clinton in the days before his administration ended included an order establishing a presidential commission to examine disparities in resource allocations for schools. The panel is to prepare a report for Congress and the new president no later than August.
"The commission shall collect and review information about the current status of gaps in the availability of educational resources, including the underlying causes and effects of such resource gaps," Mr. Clinton said in the Jan. 15 executive order.
The 13-member panel's report is to analyze the status of resource equity in education, how resource gaps affect individuals and the nation, the effectiveness of targeted federal aid for low-income children, and recommendations for education policymakers.
Officials from incoming President Bush's transition team could not be reached for comment last week.
—Erik W. Robelen
Clinton Announces Efforts To Reduce Youth Violence
President Clinton also announced two initiatives during his final days in the Oval Office to help curb youth violence.
In his second-to- last radio address on Jan. 13, Mr. Clinton announced the launch of the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center and the release of a resource guide for parents. The initiatives were coordinated by the White House Council on Youth Violence, a group formed in response to the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colo.
The center will serve as a central hub for federal information on youth-violence-prevention efforts, including teenage suicide. The resource guide was written for parents to help them distinguish between normal behavior and potential problems. It also offers recommendations to improve family communication.
The Resource Center's Web site is www.safeyouth.org, and its toll- free phone number is (866) 723-3968. Single copies of the free resource guide can be ordered by calling (800) 789-2647.
—Joetta L. Sack
Honoring a King
Five days before his inauguration as president, George W. Bush and his choice for secretary of education, Rod Paige, celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with students at Kelso Elementary School in Houston. Mr. Bush spoke of the civil rights leader's belief that education has two purposes: to teach students to think critically and to build character. "The dream of equality is empty without excellent schools, schools that stress reading and discipline and character and decency," Mr. Bush said.
Vol. 20, Issue 19, Page 24