Bennett To Resign 'Drug Czar' Post

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William J. Bennett, the combative and controversial former Secretary of Education, announced last week that he was resigning his position as the federal government's first drug-policy director.

Mr. Bennett, who served in the Education Department from 1985 to 1988, was appointed to the anti-drug post by President Bush in early 1989.

As the nation's first "drug czar," Mr. Bennett was criticized by liberal groups for his decision to emphasize law enforcement over education and treatment in the war against drugs.

Mr. Bennett, who is expected to leave his position later this year, said last week that he needed to rest and would write a book about education for the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

The Congress has provided some relief for school districts that are dependent on federal "timber receipts" payments and that anticipate a slowdown in timber harvesting.

A provision in the fiscal year 1991 Interior Department appropriations bill calls for communities in Oregon, California, and other Pacific Northwest counties to receive in fiscal 1991 no less than 90 percent of their average payments over the last three years.

Districts usually receive 25 percent of the receipts harvesters pay to the federal government. But timber harvesting is expected to decline this year due to attempts to save the endangered spotted owl.

Secretary of Labor Elizabeth H. Dole has appointed 15 business, education, and labor officials to serve on an advisory commission exploring a voluntary accrediting system for industrial-training programs.

The National Advisory Commission on Work-Based Learning will spend two years evaluating strategies for expanding apprenticeship programs, which have traditionally provided hands-on learning for craftsmen. In announcing the commission, Ms. Dole said expanded work-based learning programs would provide new workers with "portable credentials" that vouch for their competence. Such a program also wouldmployers a better idea of what skills applicants have mastered.

The commission, to be chaired by Jack MacAllister, chairman and chief executive officer of U.S. West Inc., will aim at improving opportunities for students who, Ms. Dole said, have been forgotten "because there is often no dignified alternative to the college-preparatory path.''

Schools participating in the federal school-meals program will not have to comply with new Agriculture Department dietary guidelines for at least two years, according to a spokesman for the USDA

The guidelines recommend that all Americans over age 2 limit their intake of fat to 30 percent of the calories in their daily diet, and that all Americans eat more fruit and vegetables and limit their consumption of alcohol.

The guidelines were issued jointly by the USDA, which administers the school-meals program, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Some lobbyists have argued that the USDA has failed to promote school meals that reflect the current scientific consensus about dietary guidelines. A new USDA grant program has allowed schools to create

A federal appeals court has postponed its consideration of a suit challenging the Education Department's drug-testing policy for its employees pending the outcome of a similar case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was to have heard arguments in the ED case on Oct. 26. It said it would take its next step following a decision in a drug-testing case involving Agriculture Department employees.

In July 1989, a federal district judge ruled that ED could require nine drivers to submit to testing, but that it could not force 88 data processors to be tested.

The Education Department has received requests for more than 7 million copies of a booklet of tips for parents on how to prevent their children from using drugs, making it the agency's most popular publication.

Since it was published in February, 3.7 million copies of Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention, have gone into circulation, said Charlotte Gillespie, a policy analyst in the department's drug-abuse prevention oversight staff.

Another 2.1 million copies that have been requested are in production and will be mailed in December, and outstanding requests for an additional 2 million copies will be handled next year.

Most requests, she said, have come from school districts and organizations involved in drug-prevention planning.

Ms. Gillespie said a previous drug-prevention book, Schools Without Drugs, is now the second-most popular publication. About 3.55 million copies of this booklet, which was first published in 1986 and updated last year, are in circulation, she said.

Vol. 10, Issue 11

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