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The Labor Department has delayed release of the final rules for federal job-training programs until Sept. 1, according to a notice published in the Federal Register June 3.

The regulations were scheduled to be issued at the beginning of this month, before the changes mandated by the Job Training Reform Amendments of 1992 take effect in July.

"We're extending the target for the publication largely because of the volume of comments,'' said Hugh Davies, the director of the office of employment and training programs. The office has received some 400 responses from the field.

For now, program grantees are expected to treat the interim final regulations, released in December, as if they had the effect of law.

In March, Mr. Davies's office issued a guidance letter that provided additional instruction to grantees about how to operate during the transition.

Last week's notice said Job Training Partnership Act programs will have until January to fully implement some new requirements, such as providing an objective assessment of their training needs and an individual-service plan for new participants.

The requirement that year-round youth programs serve 50 percent out-of-school youths also will be phased in during fiscal 1993 and will not be the subject of compliance reviews until fiscal 1994.

The federal government's role in assisting schools to harness computer networks and other electronic-learning aids to meet the national education goals would be substantially expanded under legislation introduced by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

The "technology for education act of 1993,'' introduced late last month, would "create a national educational-technology blueprint'' to help schools upgrade their technological capacity.

The measure authorizes $100 million over the next five years for a grant and loan program designed to enable poor school districts to purchase the latest in computers and other technologies.

The measure, co-sponsored by Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., would also establish an office of education technology within the Education Department.

A separate grant program authorized by the measure would help schools acquire the equipment to tap into national high-performance computer networks, such as the Internet.

Vol. 12, Issue 37

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