State Journal: English only; Atlanta Jane

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English is now the official language of Pennsylvania's department of education.

Eugene W. Hickok, the state's secretary of education, announced last month that department employees caught using acronyms or turning nouns into verbs will be fined--$1 an offense.

Jargon may be the mother tongue of educators, said Sean Duffy, a spokesman for the secretary, but "schools belong to Moms and Dads and teachers, and talking like some of these folks do is outrageous."

One of the worst offenses, in Mr. Duffy's view: Asking to "dialogue" rather than talk.

"And some of the acronyms we use could stop a truck," he said.

Fines collected total $15 so far. Proceeds will go eventually to a charity or school, Mr. Duffy said.

Jane Fonda might want to take lobbying lessons from her ex-husband, California state Sen. Tom Hayden.

The actress, fitness buff, and longtime liberal activist has been working the legislature in her adopted home state of Georgia to drum up opposition to sex-education legislation that would delay instruction about birth control until 7th grade.

Ms. Fonda, who is now married to Atlanta-based cable-television mogul Ted Turner, is heading a campaign--financed by Mr. Turner's nonprofit foundation--to curb teenage pregnancies in the state. She recently argued in testimony before a Senate education subcommittee that the bill would only lead to more children having children.

Ms. Fonda and Republican Sen. Perry McGuire, the bill's sponsor, agree about what to teach and disagree chiefly on the timing, said Mark Higgins, a spokesman for Sen. McGuire. "She would prefer that everything be done right out of the womb," he said.

Mr. McGuire at one point took to the Senate floor to charge that Ms. Fonda was conspiring with Democratic leaders to bottle up the bill in the education committee.

But apparently the senator wrongly assumed that star power translates to political power; his legislation cleared the education committee last month on an 8-3 vote. It will likely stall before lawmakers recess this week, but Ms. Fonda and Sen. McGuire are likely to rejoin their fight next year.

--Drew Lindsay

Vol. 15, Issue 25

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