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The House Subcommittee on Select Education and Civil Rights last month unanimously approved legislation to reauthorize, and significantly reorganize, the Education Department's research branch.

HR 856, sponsored by Rep. Major R. Owens, D-N.Y., the subcommittee chairman, is nearly identical to a bill that died last year after clearing the House.

It would phase in a new system of five research "institutes'' over several years and create an independent board to set policy for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, a move Mr. Owens says would depoliticize the agency. The Bush Administration adamantly opposed that idea, and last year's Senate bill called for a less powerful advisory board.

The Clinton Administration has taken no public position, but Congressional aides said Education Department officials have told them that they would support only an advisory board. Aides said they have also been told the Administration would rather authorize fewer institutes so each could get more money.

An aide to Mr. Owens said the Administration plans to negotiate with lawmakers before HR 856 is considered by the full Education and Labor Committee, rather than introduce its own proposal.

The Labor Department has awarded $1 million to the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation for a five-year study of high school career academies for at-risk youths.

Career academies are schools-within-schools that train students for an occupation while also preparing them for college. The New York-based group will compare the experiences and career paths of students in 14 career academies with that of control groups. It also will assess the cost effectiveness of the approach.

President Clinton last month chose Kristine M. Gebbie, a nurse and former head of Washington state's health department, to take on the new post of AIDS policy director.

After the announcement, Ms. Gebbie, who served on the Presidential Commission on AIDS, said on a radio talk show that teenagers who have sex should use condoms to avoid getting the virus that causes AIDS. She vowed to promote AIDS education and access to health services for "every kid in this country.''

The 49-year-old former professor of public health is charged with creating a more efficient federal effort by coordinating research, treatment, and education initiatives.

Sen. Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, announced last month that he would not seek re-election next year.

Mr. Metzenbaum, a three-term veteran of the Senate, is the third-ranking member of the Labor and Human Resources Committee and ranks second on its Education, Arts, and Humanities Subcommittee.

Thomas R. Wolanin, a longtime Congressional aide, has been named deputy assistant secretary for legislative and Congressional affairs, the Education Department announced recently.

Mr. Wolanin has worked since 1983 for Rep. William D. Ford, D-Mich., the current chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. He is best known for his work in higher education, and has served for eight years as staff director of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education and Training.

His new post does not require Senate approval.

President Clinton this month accepted a national commission's proposal to close 130 domestic military bases and scale back another 45.

In communities losing and gaining military personnel, schools may see dramatic shifts in enrollment. In addition, some districts stand to lose much of the federal impact-aid they have come to depend on.

The independent Base Closure and Realignment Commission proposed the cutbacks after reviewing Pentagon recommendations. Congress has 45 days to accept or reject the plan.

In this third round of closure recommendations, such major facilities as the Charleston, S.C., Naval Shipyard and Naval Station are targeted.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announced the closing of 92 overseas bases earlier this month.

Vol. 12, Issue extra edition

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