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Gov. L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia has signed a bill delaying for two years implementation of new child-care regulations that would extend state licensing to many providers and programs not previously covered, including public and private preschools and kindergartens.

The new rules, which stem from a 1990 law scheduled to take effect this July, would also apply to before- and after-school child care, summer programs, and programs operated by local governments, recreation departments, and private groups.

While current rules cover family-day-care providers serving more than six children, the new law would shift that number to five, including the provider's children.

The House and Senate approved a the measure delaying the law's implementation after several conflicting bills were offered this session to address concerns raised by various providers and groups that argued the new rules went too far.

The Virginia Senate last week approved a measure to require physicians to notify at least one parent before performing abortions on girls ages 15 and under.

A similar measure, applying to girls ages 17 and under, was blocked by abortion-rights proponents in a Senate committee last month. The full Senate, however, approved the latest proposal as an amendment to an unrelated measure.

The bill would allow girls to convince a judge that they are mature enough to make their own decisions and thus bypass the parental-notification requirement.

Budget authority over eight Wyoming schools would be transferred from district superintendents to principals, under a two-year pilot project added to an education-finance bill by the Wyoming Senate last week.

The finance bill passed the Senate on a 17-to-13 vote last week and will next be considered by the House.

Senator Allen D. Howard, the sponsor of the amendment, said he hoped the project would demonstrate whether Wyoming's schools can get rid of superintendents and other district administrators by shifting their decisionmaking powers to the school level.

Although no district administrative positions would be eliminated at the pilot schools initially, the state would allow each principal, along with a council of teachers, business leaders, and community members, to draw up the annual school budget.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last week approved a five-year phase-in formula for a new school-financing program.

Under the formula, the state's minimum-foundation program would distribute $1.7 billion to 66 school districts based on each district's ability to raise revenues and cost to educate each student.

Although Gov. Edwin W. Edwards included $38.2 million in his 1993 budget for first-year costs of the new program, it is unclear if the legislature will adopt the plan.

Lawmakers last year deferred consideration of the equalization formula, but a group of 26 districts plans to sue the state to adopt an equalization plan if the legislature does not take decisive action this year.

Vol. 11, Issue 25

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