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Sunday, January 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: As schools remain closed, teachers hire out as tutors

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 12, 2018, 10:28 p.m.

The flu had closed schools for several weeks, and some teachers were outsourcing as private tutors to families who could afford them. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The flu had closed schools for several weeks, and some teachers were outsourcing as private tutors to families who could afford them. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Schools had been closed for weeks in Spokane due to the flu epidemic, but some public school teachers were hiring out as home tutors.

This was proving controversial, because it meant that parents who could afford such tutoring were giving their children “an unfair advantage over the poorer ones who cannot have the same instruction.” They were hoping that their children could make up the lost time and perhaps skip a grade.

The superintendent of Spokane’s schools dashed any such hopes. He said that when schools were reopened, work will resume just where it left off and nobody would have an advantage.

He was not aware of, nor had he condoned, any such tutoring.

From the epidemic beat: City health officer Dr. J.B. Anderson said that the trend was becoming clear: New flu cases were on the decline.

Only 101 new cases were reported, compared with 362 on the same day a week ago. This trend had been evident for several days in a row. In addition, the city’s emergency flu hospital had only 65 patients, half the number it had 10 days earlier.

The death toll, however, remained high. Another nine victims succumbed in one day.

This was not surprising, since it usually took a week or more for a person to succumb to the flu. This meant that the death toll reflected the big spike in flu cases reported a week or so ago. He warned the public that the death toll would probably stay high for a few more days.

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