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The Education Department has asked the education and legal communities their views on student financial-aid programs that use race, national origin, or color as a factor in distributing awards.

In a notice published in the May 30 Federal Register, the department said it is seeking the recommendations as part of its policy review on race-exclusive scholarships.

Michael L. Williams, the assistant secretary for civil rights, last December declared that such scholarships violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander ordered a review of the policy soon after the Senate confirmed his nomination. (See Education Week, March 27, 1991.)

Interested parties have until July 15, 1991 to provide written comments. The department has asked that persons or organizations that reply address the nature and extent of such programs, the reasons for them, limitations imposed on them by Title VI, and whether other programs can be developed that serve the same purpose.

Send comments to Jeanette J. Lim, Acting Director, Policy Development Division, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Education Department, 330 C St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202.

The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee has passed legislation that would require government-funded family-planning clinics to offer their clients information about all their medical and legal options, including abortion.

The measure was introduced in response to last month's U.S. Su8preme Court decision that prohibited clinics that accept Title X family-planning aid from discussing abortion with clients. A similar bill has been introduced in the House.

Senate Democrats have unveiled a proposal to provide all Americans with medical coverage.

Under the plan, which would be phased in over five years, employers would have to provide health insurance to their employees, or pay a new payroll tax that would help the government provide it.

The tax rate would be set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The money would be used to create a new federal-state health plan that would replace Medicaid. About one-third of the 34 million Americans without insurance are children.

President Bush, many Republicans, and small-businesses owners oppose the measure.

Vol. 10, Issue 38

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