Press Release

Citizens Against Government Waste Call Channel One a Model Private-Public Partnership

(January 22, 1999) – Citizens Against Government Waste, the respected taxpayer watchdog group, applauded the Channel One network for "saving the U.S. taxpayer millions of dollars very year," and said that "Channel One's partnership with 12,000 schools across the nation is a model for what a private-public partnership should be."

"Channel One adds no time to the school day, and costs taxpayers not a penny more than were the schools to go without educational programming. Instead, it would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to provide the educational programming, audio-visual equipment and service that Channel One provides to 8 million American students," wrote Tom Schatz, president, Citizens Against Government Waste , in a letter to the network. "Thus, participation in Channel One frees up funds that can be used for other pressing needs."

Channel One Network is the largest source of news and information for young people. Its award-winning daily 12-minute educational newscast is seen by more than 8 million students and 350,000 teachers in middle and high schools across the country.

The newscast, usually aired during homeroom, is broadcast on television equipment Channel One installs in each classroom. The equipment, news show and roughly 10 hours of educational programming each week are provided free of charge to schools.

Some have criticized schools that decide to include Channel One in their curriculum, arguing that time spent watching the broadcast wastes taxpayer money, a claim that both Channel One and Citizens Against Government Waste dispute.

Schatz said:  "This argument is based on the peculiar premise that news and current events have no educational value. But the primary reason schools choose to provide Channel One is because it enhances the educational curriculum."

Founded by the late industrialist J. Peter Grace and nationally syndicated columnist Jack Anderson in 1984, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste currently has more than 600,000 members nationwide. The organization works to combat government waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.

"Educators who use Channel One's resources on a daily basis have long been our biggest supporters. In fact, more than 99 percent of our schools renew their contracts each year," commented Kevin McAliley, chief executive officer of Channel One Network.

"It is gratifying that Citizens Against Government Waste feel that not only do we not squander taxpayers money, but that we are in fact a great partner for school districts."

In the last year, Channel One reporters and producers have traveled to more than 30 countries to provide news coverage geared specifically to the network's audience of 12- to 18-year olds. Last week, former educator Dennis Hastert granted his first interview after taking over as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to Channel One News.

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