The Sound of Music:House members from both parties last week overwhelmingly approved a measure to require the General Accounting Office to get to the bottom of allegations of fraud within the Department of Education.
The move came after two independent audits were labeled incomplete because of missing paperwork, and a contractor pleaded guilty to defrauding the agency of about $1 million. ("House Panel Passes Bill To Probe Ed. Spending," May 31, 2000.)
The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 380-19, still needs Senate approval and a signature from the president.
Any member of Congress may ask for a GAO report, but Republicans believed a legislative initiative would give the request more priority, said Dan Lara, a spokesman for Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
Music education has struck a chord with Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ill., who persuaded his House colleagues to show their appreciation as well last week.
The House passed a resolution Mr. McIntosh sponsored to recognize that music education is important to children's academic success.
The resolution, H. Con. Res. 266, says a growing body of evidence shows that "music education enhances intellectual development and enriches the academic environment." It also praises music educators for playing "a key role in helping children to succeed in school." The resolution passed by a voice vote.
The move coincides with the annual "Save the Music" campaign by the music-oriented cable television channel VH-1. The channel's executives collect used instruments and money to help restore music education programs in public schools and increase awareness of the positive effect music can have in students' lives.
Mr. McIntosh, who played the tuba in his high school band, also helped VH-1 collect used instruments on June 14.
Vol. 19, Issue 41, Page 32Published in Print: June 21, 2000, as Federal File