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Gov. Richard F. Celeste of Ohio has signed into law a bill to deny driver's licenses to high-school dropouts.

Under the new law, which becomes effective May 2, 16- and 17-year-olds will lose their licenses until age 18 if they drop out of school, are habitually absent, or are expelled or suspended for drug or alcohol abuse.

School superintendents will be required to notify the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles if a student is habitually absent or has been expelled.

In South Dakota, meanwhile, a legislative committee has killed a similar measure.

The House Transportation Committee voted 8-to-5 this month to reject the bill. Representative Gordon R. Pederson, chairman of the committee, said members feared the measure would anger parents and encourage dropouts to break the law.

"If a kid drops out of school he still has to get to work," he added.

Hawaii's statewide after-school child-care program went into effect last week, following approval by the legislature of an emergency bill providing $5.6 million to operate the pilot program through June.

Critics had disputed the contention of the administration of Gov. John Waihee 3rd that it had the authority to implement the program without specific legislative approval. Passage of the bill last month, however, rendered the issue moot.

Some 16,000 children from single-parent and dual-earner families will be eligible for the pilot program. (See Education Week, Dec. 13, 1989.)

State officials hope the legislature will act to establish the program on a permanent basis. A number of questions about the program have yet to be resolved, however, including proposals to expand eligibility to include children whose parents are in college, as well as children who attend private schools.

Ohio school districts could get a one-year reprieve from a new state law requiring them to pay tuition costs for high-school students who take college courses, under a bill approved by the Senate Education Committee last week.

The panel amended an omnibus education bill to allow for an optional one-year delay after the Buckeye Association of School Administrators expressed reservations about the requirement, which was approved by the legislature last year as part of a major education-reform measure.

Warren G. Russell, executive director of the b.a.s.a., said local school officials were concerned about the plan's transportation costs, while college administrators have objected to a requirement that professors take attendance of high-school students.

The plan requires districts to pay tuition costs for students taking college courses for high-school credit, up to a maximum of $2,636 each, the basic state per-pupil aid amount.

The House Education Committee in Utah has rejected a bill to require a third year of mathematics for high-school graduation.

A factor in the defeat of the measure, observers said, was concern over the effects of the additional requirement on the Mormon Church's seminary programs, under which students leave school for part of the day to receive religious instruction.

Superintendent of Public Instruction James R. Moss also opposed the bill, on the grounds that the legislature should not dictate curriculum. Concerns about potential interference with Mormon religious instruction were legitimate, he said, because schools would not have classroom space to accommodate the approximately 10 percent of students who leave for one hour each day.

West Virginia should raise the money needed to increase teachers' salaries by eliminating more than 8,000 school jobs over seven years, a gubernatorial task force has recommended.

The Governor's Task Force on Teacher Pay suggested cutting 4,161 teaching positions, 3,276 service jobs, and at least 644 administrative posts throughout the state.

The positions would be cut mostly through attrition, a spokesman for the education department said.

Vol. 09, Issue 21

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