Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announce ments.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education last week approved a social-services spending bill calling for $26.5 billion for Education Department programs in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The Chapter 1 compensatory-education program and the Pell Grant program were the beneficiaries of the biggest increases. (See page 20.)
The House Select Committee on ChilLdren, Families, and Youth held a hearing last week on children and environmental toxins.(
National Report Card
The Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities held a hearing last week on legislation that would create a panel to monitor progress toward achieving national education goals adopted by President Bush and the nation’s governors. The panel would include elected officials and education experts. The President and the governors have created a separate monitoring group. (See page 19)
The House last week approved by voice vote legislation that would support community-service programs, including programs based in schools. The bill now goes to conference with similar legislation passed by the Senate last year..
The Senate Subcommittee on Investigations last week continued hearings on fraud and abuse in student-loan proLgrams, hearing from Inspector General James B. Thomas of the Education Department, two Senate investigators, and a former trade-school owner sentenced to prison. Hearings are scheduled to continue later this month. (See page 21.)
The House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment last week approved a bill that would curb the growth of federal health aid to states that do not adopt laws to prohibit the sale of tobacco to minors. The measure also would bar advertisements for tobacco products within 750 feet of a school.
The House last week approved legisla tion revamping and extending federal vo cational-education programs, clearing it for the President’s signature. (See page 19.)
In the Education Department
The Education Department has published final regulations governing its en forcement of laws prohibiting discrimi nation against disabled people in the agency’s own operations. The rules, published in the Sept. 7 Federal Register, are almost identical to those that apply to programs receiving federal aid, accord ing to the department.
The Education Department has proposed new regulations making primarily tech nical changes in the Pell Grant program, such as clarifying policies on the timing of payments to students, eligibility of part-time students, and overpayments. The rules appear in the Sept. 12 Federal Register, and comments are due by Oct. 29.