Capital Update

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Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.

Legislative Action

Minority Scholarships

Congressional Hearing
The House Education and Labor Committee heard testimony from education and civil-rights officials at a Dec. 19 hearing on race-exclusive scholarships. The Education Department's office for civil rights recently ruled that publicly funded awards of this type violate federal civil-rights laws. (See page 1.)

School Finance

Congressional Report

The House Education and Labor Committee released a 127-page report describing how widely varying school-spending levels within states have hampered education for students in poor districts. The study was aimed at arming the panel to attack states' school-finance inequities. (See page 24.)

In the Education Department

Drug Education

Final Rules
The Education Department published in the Dec. 19 Federal Register final regulations for new grant programs to train school personnel to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and implementing recent changes in anti-drug education programs.

Impact Aid

Final Rules
The Education Department has published final rules implementing a recent change in the law that allows acceptance of late applications for impact aid, but penalizes tardy school districts. The announcement appears in the Dec. 12 Federal Register.

Ability-to-Benefit Tests

Notice of Approved Tests
The Education Department published in the Dec. 19 Federal Register a notice of 14 approved ability-to-benefit tests and policies and procedures for approval of other tests. Colleges and trade schools can lose eligibility for federal funds if they accept students who do not take the tests, even if those students do not receive Stafford Student Loans. (See page 22.)

In Other Agencies

School Lunch

Proposed Rules

The Department of Agriculture published in the Dec. 21 Federal Register proposed rules regarding federal and state efforts to ensure that schools do not overcount the number of meals they serve to students.

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