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January 1996 . . .

Education Briefs

The proposed welfare-reform legislation would include $75 million in funding for abstinence programs. The chief sponsor of this provision, Senator Lauch Faircloth (R-NC), says that "illegitimacy is the root cause of the problem of long-term welfare dependency." Presently, the only funding for abstinence is through the Department of Health and Human Service's Title XX Adolescent Family Life. Even though a 1991 study by Stan E. Weed and three others found that teen attitudes toward abstinence were strengthened through abstinence programming, Title X funding for "family planning" (through contraceptives) has risen to $193 million a year.

An Arizona state court has upheld the mandatory uniform policy of a Phoenix middle school. A parent of a Phoenix middle school student had argued that the school district was infringing on his son's constitutional rights. Administrators at schools that have adopted uniform policies say it produces a better learning environment, more school pride, less clothing distractions, increase in attendance, and decreased gang violence. Several hundred U.S. public schools require or encourage wearing uniforms.

Georgetown University has changed its English degree requirements to include a more politically correct curriculum. Georgetown English majors have been required to study two of three major authors (Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton) and three of four literary periods (the 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries). Henceforth, English majors can specialize in "Studies in Culture and Performance," which would "focus on the power exerted on our lives by such cultural and performative [sic] categories as race, class, gender, sexuality and nationality." Other new courses are "Unspeakable Lives: Gay/Lesbian Narratives," "Race, Gender, Nation," and "Caribbean Literature Survey."

Note: This issue of Education Reporter ends our tenth year -- a milestone for this unique newspaper of education rights.

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