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School board given pause on Channel One


Baltimore school board members are having second thoughts about their decision earlier this month to allow an educational television program that includes commercials to be aired in city schools.

After hearing from two parent groups that criticized the decision last night, board members conceded that they didn't know as much about Whittle Educational Network's Channel One program as they'd thought.

One board member, Linda C. Janey, was surprised to learn that schools would not get to keep the video equipment provided free as part of Channel One. Another, Stelios Spiliadis, was dismayed to hear that parents had not been consulted -- at least, the Baltimore City Council of PTAs had not been consulted.

Board President Joseph L. Smith said the contract was already in place, but he promised to find out whether the board could reconsider.

Meanwhile, residents from around Hampstead Hill Middle School, promised a role in picking a new principal, were taken aback Tuesday when administrators introduced a nominee, to be approved last night. Last month, after a Hampstead Hill student was accused in the baseball bat beating of a man in nearby Patterson Park, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke announced that school Principal Preston Roney would be transferred.

The board reassured the residents of their role and put off takin any action last night.

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