October 24, 2001 1 min read

As Education Week Marks its 20th anniversary, here are some of the people, events, and issues that were making news 20 years ago this week.

Tuition Tax Credits: As District of Columbia voters prepare to vote on a referendum to provide tax credits for private school tuition, President Reagan reiterates his support of federal tax credits at a national convention of Catholic educators. Washington Mayor Marion S. Barry and other opponents say such credits would wreck the city’s public schools.

Incentive Pay: The Houston school district, following the Woody Allen dictum that 80 percent of success in life is simply showing up, passes out $1.1 million in bonuses to 3,457 teachers for good attendance. Teachers qualify for up to $3,500 if they have missed less than five days during a school year. [Not available online.]

Education Department Cuts: As part of cost-cutting measures growing from the more austere fiscal 1982 federal budget, Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell announces he will eliminate 250 jobs in his department. Mr. Bell says consolidation of several grant programs will make the cuts feasible. [Not available online.]

Distance Education: With no money available for buses, 15 students in the isolated gold-mining community of Granite, Ore., have been forced by their school district to take correspondence courses. Paul A. Butcher, the superintendent of the Prairie City school district, blames the situation on voters’ rejection of tax increases and lagging revenue from taxes on the timber industry.

Glue Flu: Giving hooky ammunition to millions of children, a Los Angeles child psychologist says weekday morning tummy aches and headaches may be caused by “school phobia.” Some students may be made sick, in other words, by fear of a stern teacher or taunting classmates. His prescription: Make them go to school anyway.

Comrade-ery: Officials of the Soviet Union announce that they will now include sex education in the national curriculum. They ascribe the change to concerns about high divorce rates and falling birthrates.