Federal File

January 23, 2002 1 min read

George W. Sat Here

Hamilton High School is short a desk and chair after President Bush’s Jan. 8 visit.

But no one at the school in Hamilton, Ohio, is likely to complain. Mr. Bush graced that furniture as he signed the “No Child Left Behind” Act in the school gym.

The Ohio Historical Society is expected shortly to take possession of the items, now stored at the district’s central office, according to Joni L. Copas, a spokeswoman for the 9,200-student Hamilton district. She said they would eventually be headed to Washington—possibly to the Smithsonian Institution—and could end up in Mr. Bush’s presidential library.

The White House advance team for the trip had hoped to find a desk with some historical significance in the greater Hamilton area. But after failing to find just the right one, “they decided a well-worn teacher’s desk would probably be the best,” Ms. Copas said. The now-famous desk was used by an art teacher at the school.

“It’s just a typical 1960s ... light-blond desk,” she said.

The art teacher’s chair, evidently, didn’t pass muster, so Mr. Bush’s team scavenged another.

To see no fewer than 377 photos from the signing ceremony, including plenty of the desk and chair, go to the school’s Web site: Hamilton High.

Even before the new education act was sent to the White House, lawmakers were tidying up their handiwork. A total of 61 technical corrections were approved last month to the mammoth bill under H.Con.Res. 289.

At press time, however, no formal signing ceremony had been scheduled for the corrections package.

Meanwhile, first lady Laura Bush is headed to the Capitol to talk about a favorite issue, early-childhood education. She is slated to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Jan. 24.

She was supposed to appear before the panel last year. But the event—set for Sept. 11—was canceled.

—Erik W. Robelen

A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2002 edition of Education Week