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The Senate last week appeared poised to approve a tax bill that includes several provisions aiding schools and children.

The Senate version of HR 4210 would give families a $300 tax credit for each child under the age of 16; create an income-contingent, direct-loan program; make the interest on student loans tax deductible, and allow deductions for the full appreciated value of property donated to charitable organizations, a provision that is important to colleges and private schools.

The bill was expected to be approved by a margin short of the two-thirds needed to override an expected Presidential veto.

Lawmakers will reconcile the Senate bill with a different version of HR 4210 approved earlier by the House.

The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee last week approved legislation that would expand youth programs under the Job Training Partnership Act and require them to serve more disadvantaged clients.

S 2055 is similar to HR 3033, which was approved by the House last year. Both would retain separate year-round and summer youth programs, and create a new program for severely disadvantaged youth.

The Bush Administration will propose allowing states to use more of their funds under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act for state-operated schools to compensate for eliminating another funding source, Robert Davila, assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, told an appropriations panel last week.

Mr. Davila said the rule change would help offset phasing out the Chapter 1 handicapped program--a plan the Congress has not approved.

Many states use the Chapter 1 program to support schools for special disability populations, and they currently can use only 25 percent of their I.D.E.A. funds for that purpose.

Minority children who are hearing-impaired lag far behind their non-minority peers academically, witnesses told the House Subcommittee on Select Education last week.

While 35 percent of the nation's 46,000 deaf students are members of minority groups, only a small fraction of deaf students in postsecondary programs are minorities, witnesses said at a hearing on the Education of the Deaf Act.

Angel Ramos, president of the National Association of Deaf Hispanics, said the average deaf, Hispanic 16-year-old reads at the same level as an average deaf 8-year-old who is white.

"The education of minority children in this country is third rate,'' said Representative Major R. Owens, the New York Democrat who chairs the panel. "This picture does not change when we look at the education of deaf children.''

Vol. 11, Issue 26

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