Congress passes education bill

THE Elementary and Secondary Education Act is back in business. It had expired last Friday. But final congressional approval from the Senate on Wednesday has given the package a new five-year-lease on life.

The Senate approved the $13 billion funding bill, after choking off a GOP-led filibuster over school prayer. Filibuster leaders claimed the bill does not do enough to protect school prayer.

The legislation's biggest program will aid educationally disadvantaged children. The measure also requires local school districts to adopt a one-year expulsion policy for students who take guns to school. It forbids the use of federal education money for programs that promote sexual activity. And it bars the use of federal funds for distributing condoms in schools.

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