The House this month passed a bill that would reauthorize the domestic elementary and secondary schools run by the Defense Department.
In addition, HR 4301 would require studies to determine whether the department's overseas schools of fewer than 150 students should remain open, and whether the overseas schools should continue to provide special services for disabled children.
By a vote of 260 to 158, the House passed the "defense authorization act'' on June 9. A companion measure, S 2059, is awaiting action in the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
The two studies of overseas schools are designed to "increase the efficiency and quality of education programs for military dependents,'' according to the House Armed Services Committee.
The study of special-education services drew a quick response from the Council for Exceptional Children.
"The rationale for such a study appears to have potential for discriminatory practices against children with disabilities who are military dependents and the military parent,'' C.E.C. officials said in a statement.
Military parents who have "dedicated their lives to service to their country ... now are faced with the denial of basic rights for their children,'' the statement added.
Children's Television: Although the Children's Television Act spurred the creation of new educational shows, television stations are either not putting them on the air or are scheduling them in undesirable early morning time slots, a new report asserts.
The report from the Center for Media Education, a Washington-based advocacy group, says that many stations are putting syndicated educational shows on between 5 and 7 A.M., when many children are still asleep.
"As a consequence, much of the programming created in response to the Children's Television Act has found it almost impossible to gain entry and survive in the marketplace,'' says the report, "The Impact of the Children's Television Act on the Broadcast Market.''
The report urges the Federal Communications Commission to issue a stronger interpretation of the 1990 federal law, which calls for broadcasters to air more educational programming. A minimum of one hour a day of educational or informational programming should be required, the report urges.
The F.C.C. is drafting new guidelines on the Children's Television Act, and plans a major hearing on the topic on June 28.
Vocational Education: A dozen Republican lawmakers have asked Education Department officials to refrain from issuing regulations that would expand the services required under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act.
In a May 31 letter to Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, a dozen Republicans say that calling on vocational-education programs to provide additional supplementary services for poor students and students with disabilities "would impose requirements regarding services to special-population students that far exceed the scope of the federal law.''
The issuance of expanded requirements "would not only cause unwarranted confusion and program disruption, it would result in placing a burden on states not intended by the law,'' the letter said.
The letter was signed by Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, R-Kan., Rep. Bill Goodling, R-Pa., and 10 other House Republicans.
An Education Department spokesman said the new regulations are still under consideration.
Vol. 13, Issue 39