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(g) CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON.—The Commission shall select a chairperson and vice chairperson from among the members of the Commission. SEC. 853. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION. (a) STUDY.
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall conduct a thorough study to assess the educational software available in retail markets for secondary and postsecondary students who choose to use such software.
(2) PUBLIC HEARINGS.-As part of the study conducted under this subsection, the Commission shall hold public hearings in each region of the United States concerning the assessment referred to in paragraph (1).
(3) EXISTING INFORMATION.—To the extent practicable, in carrying out the study under this subsection, the Commission shall identify and use existing information related to the assessment referred to in paragraph (1).
(b) REPORT.-Not later than 6 months after the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit a report to the President and Congress that shall contain a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission resulting from the study, together with the Commission's recommendations
(1) for such legislation and administrative actions as the Commission considers to be appropriate; and
(2) regarding the appropriate Federal role in determining quality educational software products.
(c) FACILITATION OF EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION.-In carrying out the study under subsection (a), the Commission shall, to the extent practicable, facilitate the exchange of information concerning the issues that are the subject of the study among
(1) officials of the Federal Government, and State governments and political subdivisions of States; and
(2) educators from Federal, State, and local institutions of higher education and secondary schools. SEC. 854. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.
(a) HEARINGS.-The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out the duties of the Commission.
(b) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES.--The Commission may request from the head of any Federal agency or instrumentality such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this part. Each such agency or instrumentality shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the exceptions set forth in section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), furnish such information to the Commission upon request.
(c) POSTAL SERVICES.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
(d) GIFTS.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property.
SEC. 855. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.
(a) COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS.-Except as provided in subsection (b), each member of the Commission who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall serve without compensation. All members of the Commission who are officers or employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.
(b) TRAVEL EXPENSES.—The members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission. (c) STAFF.
(1) IN GENERAL.-The Chairperson of the Commission may, without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an executive director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform the Commission's duties. The employment of an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.
(2) COMPENSATION.—The Chairperson of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
(d) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(e) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title. SEC. 856. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.
The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits the Commission's report under section 853(b). SEC. 857. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be appropriated $450,000 for fiscal year 1999 to the Commission to carry out this part.
(b) AVAILABILITY.—Any sums appropriated under the authorization contained in this section shall remain available, without fiscal year limitation, until expended.
SEC. 861. EDUCATION-WELFARE STUDY.
(a) STUDY.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of the effectiveness of educational approaches (including vocational and post-secondary education approaches) and rapid employment approaches to helping welfare recipients and other low-income adults become employed and economically selfsufficient. Such study shall include
(1) a survey of the available scientific evidence and research data on the subject, including a comparison of the effects of programs emphasizing a vocational or postsecondary educational approach to programs emphasizing a rapid employment approach, along with research on the impacts of programs which emphasize a combination of such approaches;
(2) an examination of the research regarding the impact of postsecondary education on the educational attainment of the children of recipients who have completed a postsecondary education program; and
(3) information regarding short and long-term employment, wages, duration
of employment, poverty rates, sustainable economic self-sufficiency, prospects for career advancement or wage increases, access to quality child care, placement in employment with benefits including health care, life insurance and retirement and related program outcomes.
(b) REPORT.—Not later than August 1, 1999, the Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare and submit to the Committees on Ways and Means and on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Finance and on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, a report that contains the finding of the study required by subsection (a). SEC. 862. RELEASE OF CONDITIONS, COVENANTS, AND REVERSIONARY
INTERESTS, GUAM COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONVEYANCE,
BARRIGADA, GUAM. (a) RELEASE.—The Secretary of Education shall release all conditions and covenants that were imposed by the United States, and the reversionary interests that were retained by the United States, as part of the conveyance of a parcel of Federal surplus property located in Barrigada, Guam, consisting of approximately 314.28 acres and known as Naval Communications Area Master Station, WESTPAC, parcel IN, which was conveyed to the Guam Community College pursuant to
(1) the quitclaim deed dated June 8, 1990, conveying 61.45 acres, between the Secretary, acting through the Administrator for Management Services, and the Guam Community College, acting through its Board of Trustees; and
(2) the quitclaim deed dated June 8, 1990, conveying 252.83 acres, between the Secretary, acting through the Administrator for Management Services, and the Guam Community College, acting through its Board of Trustees, and the Governor of Guam.
(b) CONSIDERATION.—The Secretary shall execute the release of the conditions, covenants, and reversionary interests under subsection (a) without consideration.
(c) INSTRUMENT OF RELEASE.-The Secretary shall execute and file in the appropriate office or offices a deed of release, amended deed, or other appropriate instrument effectuating the release of the conditions, covenants, and reversionary interests under subsection (a). SEC. 863. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING GOOD CHARACTER. (a) FINDINGS.-Congress finds that
(1) the future of our Nation and world will be determined by the young people of today;
(2) record levels of youth crime, violence, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse indicate a growing moral crisis in our society;
(3) character development is the long-term process of helping young people to know, care about, and act upon such basic values as trustworthiness, respect for self and others, responsibility, fairness, compassion, and citizenship;
(4) these values are universal, reaching across cultural and religious differences;
(5) a recent poll found that 90 percent of Americans support the teaching of core moral and civic values;
(6) parents will always be children's primary character educators;
(7) good moral character is developed best in the context of the family;
(8) parents, community leaders, and school officials are establishing successful partnerships across the Nation to implement character education programs;
(9) character education programs also ask parents, faculty, and staff to serve as role models of core values, to provide opportunities for young people to apply these values, and to establish high academic standards that challenge students to set high goals, work to achieve the goals, and persevere in spite of difficulty;
(10) the development of virtue and moral character, those habits of mind, heart, and spirit that help young people to know, desire, and do what is right, has historically been a primary mission of colleges and universities; and
(11) the Congress encourages parents, faculty, and staff across the Nation to emphasize character development in the home, in the community, in our schools, and in our colleges and universities.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS. It is the sense of Congress that Congress should support and encourage character building initiatives in schools across America and urge colleges and universities to affirm that the development of character is one of the primary goals of higher education. SEC. 864. EDUCATIONAL MERCHANDISE LICENSING CODES OF
CONDUCT. It is the sense of Congress that all American colleges and universities should adopt rigorous educational merchandise licensing codes of conduct to assure that university and college licensed merchandise is not made by sweatshop and exploited adult or child
labor either domestically or abroad, and that such codes should include at least the following:
(1) Public reporting of the code and the companies adhering to the code.
(2) Independent monitoring of the companies adhering to the code by entities not limited to major international accounting firms.
(3) An explicit prohibition on the use of child labor.
(4) An explicit requirement that companies pay workers at least the governing minimum wage and applicable overtime.
(5) An explicit requirement that companies allow workers the right to organize without retribution.
(6) An explicit requirement that companies maintain a safe and healthy workplace.