News in Brief: California Governor Vetoes Driver's License Measure; Ohio Panel Eyes Evidence Of Trade-School Fraud

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Gov. George Deukmejian of California has vetoed a proposed measure linking driver's licenses to school attendance, contending that it would usurp the authority of parents.

Governor Deukmejian wrote in his Sept. 29 veto message that the law would infringe on parental authority because parents currently must sign an approval statement before their child can receive a license or learning permit, according to Tom Beermann, the Governor's spokesman.

Lawmakers adopted the measure in August as one way to reduce the number of dropouts.

Meanwhile, West Virginia officials, taking their first steps under a similar new law, have informed six students that their licenses would be revoked unless they enrolled in school.

Thirty-two others may soon receive such notification, a spokesman said last week.

An Ohio legislative panel has called for an overhaul of state regulations governing proprietary schools, charging that many of the schools seek to exploit the poor and the mentally disabled.

In a hearing this month, students and employees of for-profit schools testified before the panel about fraudulent teaching and recruiting practices throughout the proprietary-school system.

According to a spokesman for Senator Michael R. White, who chaired the panel, many schools recruit students from welfare lines and convince them to sign up for taxpayer-guaranteed student loans "with the promise that they can turn their lives around."

Often, illiterate or mentally disabled students were placed in high-level programs, such as engineering, without any hope of benefitting from the training, the spokesman said.

The Ohio Board of School and College Registration, which is charged with overseeing for-profit schools, also faces conflict-of-interest charges.

Three of the five board members own proprietary schools, according to the spokesman.

Senator White plans to introduce legislation soon to reform regulation of the system, the spokesman added.

A federal appellate court has upheld the legality of a proposed amendment to Colorado's constitution that would declare English to be the state's official language.

The Oct. 12 ruling--issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit--overturned a federal district judge's ruling last month that the failure of the amendment's backers to circulate petitions in both English and Spanish violated non-English speakers' rights under the federal Voting Rights Act.

The proposal will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot if its opponents fail to convince the full appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay of the order.

Vol. 08, Issue 07

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