Star Schools Grants Delayed Slightly

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Washington--The Education Department, which was expected this week to name the recipients of federal Star Schools grants, will not do so until late September, according to a spokesman.

"It looks like the 29th of the month before information will go out on it," said Frank Withrow, of the e.d.'s office of educational research and improvement. "We sort of had it plugged for the 19th or 20th."

Under the Star Schools program, the department will distribute $19.1 million to telecommunications partnerships to develop demonstration projects in "distance learning," which many have taken to mean the broadcasting of educational programming by satellite.

Star Schools regulations call for the department to make at least two grants to partnerships of state and local governments, public and private schools, and industry to disseminate coursework in mathematics, science, and foreign languages. The regulations do not stipulate the number of grants to be made or the amount of each grant.

Grant applications were due by June 15.

Mr. Withrow said the review of the applications is "pretty much on schedule," but added that the press of business at the end of the federal fiscal year has slowed the process.

The Star Schools program is a brainchild of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. It has been criticized by some in the Congress and the education community as a wasteful program because a number of successful distance-learning projects already exist nationwide.--pw

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