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Ventura County News Roundup

VENTURA : Schools Considering Broadcast for Classes

January 23, 1991|ADRIANNE GOODMAN

The board of the Ventura Unified School District is considering whether to allow a controversial satellite news program for children to be broadcast into the district's classrooms.

The 12-minute Channel One daily news program, aimed at teen-agers, includes news, feature stories and two minutes of commercials.

The commercial portion of the program has been criticized by educators, including state Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig.

Ventura school board members heard a 30-minute presentation Tuesday from a representative of Whittle Communications of Knoxville, Tenn., which produces the program. The company offers $50,000 in video equipment to school districts that receive the program.

The board asked district staff members to investigate whether the district should allow the program.

Honig has argued that Channel One takes away from instruction time and violates the public trust by giving commercial interests access to schoolchildren during the school day.

Last year Honig vowed to withhold state attendance money from public schools for each portion of the school day spent watching Channel One. The program has also been opposed by the state School Boards Assn., the state PTA and teacher employee groups.

Only a few public schools in California have signed up for Channel One, including the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos and a high school in San Jose.

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