20 years ago ... Jan. 26, 1983
- The U.S. Supreme Court declines to consider Levittown v. Nyquist, a New York case in which more than two dozen poor school districts challenged the state’s property-tax-based system of school finance. The court’s silence on the case in effect confirms its 1973 decision in a Texas case that equalization is a matter for state, not federal, courts.
- The Reagan administration is considering a proposal to permit parents to set up tax-deferred savings accounts to pay for their children’s college education. The administration also is weighing a plan to permit districts to use federal education money for tuition vouchers at private and parochial schools.
- Some 60 elementary schools nationwide have begun using traffic lights to slow down motor-mouth students. The sets of lights, rigged up in lunchrooms, show green when noise is acceptable, yellow for a low roar, and red when the gabble gets completely out of hand. (Not available online)
10 years ago ... Jan. 27, 1993
- U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley takes office amid speculation about who will set federal education policy: the Education Department or the White House— or perhaps first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mrs. Clinton was heavily involved in education issues during freshly inaugurated President Clinton’s years as Arkansas governor.
- The continuing problem of teenage pregnancy and the growing prevalence of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers are leading many parents, educators, and state lawmakers to advocate sex education programs that teach, sometimes exclusively, abstinence from sexual contact.
- The school board in violence-ridden East Palo Alto, Calif., is mulling over providing poor students with free accident and term life insurance coverage. Among the potential benefits in the package: burial insurance. The times, Superintendent Charlie Mae Knight says, “require us to do some things that are rather unorthodox.”