The bill linking draft registration and driver's licenses in
California, AB 1572, was kept in the "suspense file"
by the Assembly Finance Committee and failed to meet the deadline
for floor votes in the last legislative session. However, it was
categorized as a two-year bill, which means it can be activated
until January 2002 without having to start the committee process
all over again.
Californians and national organizations outside the state should
continue to send opposition letters to Assemblywoman Carole Migden,
Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee, State Capitol, Sacramento,
CA 95814. For details on the bill, see the May-June-July 2001
Draft NOtices, check the COMD Web site or call us.
Requiring School Access for the Military Still Threatens
A federal proposal that would undermine the ability of secondary
schools to protect students from aggressive military recruiters
is still under consideration in Congress (see article, "Military Escalates Assault on Civilian Schools," May-June-July).
The proposal is currently stalled in a joint House/Senate conference
committee, along with the larger education bill to which it was
attached by Representative David Vitter (R-Louisiana). The parent
bill is HR 1, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The military recruitment provision of the legislation states:
"Any secondary school that receives Federal funds under this
Act shall permit regular United States Armed Services recruitment
activities on school grounds, in a manner reasonably accessible
to all students of such school."
Federal recruiter access proposals in the past, including a non-mandatory
one passed by Congress last year, have sought to guarantee that
military representatives would be granted the same access to high
school students given to private employers and colleges. If a
school limited the access of employers and colleges, it could
place similar restrictions on military recruiters.
The Pentagon already has a substantial presence in the vast majority
of secondary schools with its literature in campus career centers
and offices, posters in hallways and classrooms, dominating displays
at school career fairs, and routine visits by recruiters during
school hours. In addition, there are a growing number of military/school
partnerships, JROTC units and other in-school, military-sponsored
Not content with the current privileges already enjoyed by the
military in our schools -- or even with the standard of equal
treatment -- the proponents of this new measure are seeking to
secure a legal guarantee of access for the Pentagon that is not
provided to others, including peace and social change groups that
seek to present alternative information to students. Counter-recruitment
activists can cite court rulings that support their right to equal
access, but they often have to wage intense struggles to overcome
resistance by school officials. (For information on the access
rights of counter-recruitment activists, see www.comdsd.org/publications.htm
at the COMD Web site.)
If the mandatory access law passes, schools that have implemented
restrictions on recruiting activities, including those that refuse
to release student directory lists to the military, may be forced
to abandon those policies, a serious setback to those struggling
against the militarization of young people and society in general.
The Senate version of the education bill did not contain a mandatory
school access provision like the House version, but it did include
a proposal for a campaign to educate schools about the non-mandatory
law that was passed last year and goes into effect in July 2002.
The joint House/Senate conference committee must decide which
of the two provisions to include in the final legislation that
will be sent back to Congress later this year. According to a
staff person for Senate education committee chair Edward Kennedy,
conference committee work will be finished in mid-September to
Write to Senator Edward Kennedy (Senate Office Building, Washington,
DC 20510) and urge him to oppose any amendments to the No Child
Left Behind Act of 2001 that would penalize local school districts
for restricting activities of military recruiters on their campuses.