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Governor Lightens School Book Load

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California students will soon have a weight lifted from their shoulders.

Governor Davis signed a bill today requiring the State Board of Education to adopt maximum weight standards for elementary and secondary school textbooks.

The measure is designed to help prevent students from developing spinal problems from lugging heavy backpacks.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries send almost five thousand students each year to emergency rooms nationwide. Davis also is urging school officials to look for alternatives to heavy hard-covered textbooks including internet-based material, CD-ROMs and other high-tech options.

Davis has a midnight deadline tonight to sign or veto a stack of bills sent to him by the state Legislature.