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The Education Department has issued final regulations for the new Even Start program that alter several sections of the proposed regulations published in October.

The rules, which are to take effect in May, allow applicants to earn more points for the quality of their evaluation plans and for the percentage of eligible parents and children to be served by a project. The new rules also change the wording of several sections to clarify them.

But the department did not modify the provision on which it received the most adverse comments: its plan to limit eligibility to children residing in an elementary-school attendance area designated for participation in the Chapter 1 program.

The 1988 law creating Even Start, which funds educational services for disadvantaged preschoolers and their parents, limits eligibility to those living in Chapter 1 attendance areas, but does not further restrict it to elementary-school zones.

In its March 23 Federal Register notice, the department argued that 1-to-7-year-old children--the group targeted by Even Start--"would not be served by the secondary schools at their ages."

The department's statement maintained that the statute explicitly encourages coordination with Chapter 1 programs, which would be more likely if students are able to receive Chapter 1 services in elementary school. The smaller elementary-school districts would be better able to focus services on the most needy children, the statement added.

The Education Department has issued proposed regulations for the impact-aid program that incorporate changes made by last year's reauthorization of elementary and secondary programs.

The proposals, published in the March 23 Federal Register, include changes in the application procedures, the determination of the local contribution rate and tax effort, the gathering of data on average daily attendance, and the counting of handicapped children.

Comments should be sent by June 21 to Charles E. Hansen, Impact Aid Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Room 2079, Washington, D.C., 20202-6272.

The Census Bureau has begun distributing its 1990 Census Education Project teaching kit to schools.

The project is intended for all public- and private-school students at all grade levels. Officials plan to send a kit to every school principal and district superintendent in the nation, as well as to state education officials and education associations.

The kits include information on the 1990 census and the history of census-taking in America, a glossary of terms, and classroom lessons involving math, history, and geography.

Field hearings on President Bush's 1990 budget request for education programs were held last week by Representative Augustus F. Hawkins, chairman of the House Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education Subcommittee.

The oversight hearings were held in Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Missoula, Mont.; and Los Angeles.

Representative Pat Williams, chairman of the postsecondary education subcommittee, also held hearings on the budget in Kalispell and Bozeman, Mont.

The University of Kentucky has withstood a challenge by a competing bidder for the contract to operate the Education Department's resource center for special education.

The General Accounting Office last month rejected the claim of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education that the university should not have been allowed to revise its proposal because its original scores were low.

With only two bidders, the g.a.o. Continued on Page 17 Continued from Page 15

said, eliminating the university's proposal on the basis of a first draft would have left the special-education group in a "sole-source procurement" situation. Reviewers recommended revisions in both proposals, the g.a.o. noted.

The resource center is designed to help the office of special education improve its monitoring of state programs and help six regional resource centers provide training and technical assistance to state agencies.

Federally funded "supported employment" programs have created thousands of job opportunities for severely disabled people, a new report says.

The "supported employment" initiative, launched by Madeleine C. Will when she was assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services, seeks to provide handicapped adults with paid jobs in integrated business environ4ments--rather than in the sheltered workshops or day programs commonly available to such individuals. The federal government has funded the demonstration projects in 27 states since 1986.

The report by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that the number of severely disabled people employed through the programs rose from fewer than 10,000 in 1986 to nearly 25,000 last year. In 15 of the participating states, the combined earnings of the employees totaled more than $12 million.

Copies of "Emerging Trends in the National Supported Employment Initiative: A Preliminary Analysis of 27 States" are available for $13.95 each from Virginia Commonwealth University, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Supported Employment, V.C.U. Box 2011, Richmond, Va. 23284-2011.

Vol. 08, Issue 28

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