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Tonight the struggle for school power. A bank that loses money and stayed for the power people. I'm gone I'm alone this is the fifty first state. It is great really really really. We're on the top of the news Federal District Judge Johnson records said today that he will make public the final report by a panel of experts on the mysterious 18 and a half minute gap in a key Watergate tape. So it is said that he will release the report when it is printed and ready for distribution and
that this will be in about two weeks the White House tape records a conversation between President Nixon and H.R. Haldeman then chief of staff at the White House. Three days after the Watergate break in and Nixon said again today that he will not resign. Secretary of Health Education and Welfare of Caspar Weinberger met with the president. He quoted Mr. Nixon as saying Don't worry if there isn't any chance of that whatever in still another Watergate related item President Nixon's two brothers have been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee they will be questioned about the $100000 campaign contribution made by billionaire Howard Hughes. Both Donald Nixon and Edwin Nixon are expected to testify perhaps later this week. Tomorrow a special school board election will be held in District one on Manhattan's Lower East Side. This election has national significance because it involves the aspirations of the blacks and Puerto Ricans to control the institutions that affect their lives in urban areas
and also because it involves the power and prestige of Albert Shanker the United Federation of Teachers the teachers union has endorsed a slate of candidates that is opposed by a rival won the election actually is a better replay of a bitter election a year ago in 1973. You have the support of Slate gain control of the school board. But that election was overturned by a federal judge on the grounds that it favored the white voters. Gail Jensen reports on the current battle for school district 1. You can always find a bargain on Orchard Street. But the people who live down here on the Lower East Side have found themselves in the middle of the controversy. None of them bargained for it as the battle over who should control the schools in District 1 and the continuing struggle for power between different segments of this community a community where the population is changing. In the late 1800s many Jewish immigrants from Europe and Russia began to settle on the Lower East Side. And today while 60 percent of the community is still white and predominantly Jewish. Many are elderly and have remained behind as their
children have grown up and left the neighborhood. Today new immigrants are moving into the community as Hispanics blacks and Chinese move to the Lower East Side. Why the minority groups represent only 40 percent of the community. They account for over 90 percent of the children in the schools of District 1 the minority parents feel they should have the final say in what goes on in the schools since they are the ones most directly involved. But residents in District 1 who don't have children in the schools also feel they should have a say since what goes on in the schools affects the community at large. This basic difference plus different opinions on how the school should be run is the foundation for the controversy in District 1 at the center of this controversy is Louise for in today's superintendent of schools. Since his appointment in July 1972 it has been supported by minority parents who favor his policies of introducing bilingual education giving parents a greater say in the hiring and promoting of teachers and bringing more
minority teachers into the district. Well I don't know what you want it. I mean that's all you did I am decent while my people are in need. You know that day. And we need to looming in the Holy Land we should find a bit that way because they own this land. I tell you they feel it is a hobby because they are my people and they I know that they know what the parents support for Windows. Albert Shanker in the United Federation of Teachers strongly oppose his policy of hiring more minority teachers. A policy they view as a quota system and a case of reverse discrimination that was leaking out at the last one has also been attacked by the UFC for allegedly making anti-Semitic statements in the past. Former school chancellor Harvey Scrivener created the Broaddrick commission to investigate these
charges and you know I went through four months of hearings. Simply to clear up the whole matter I insisted that these hearings be held at the end of those hearings I was cleared by commissioner former police commissioner Broderick Mr. Shanker and his allies still insisted I'm guilty. I don't know what they want. I've never been a racist. I could never be a racist. I've been the victim of racism. But perhaps as Dr. Clark has said this kind of attack is a form of racism itself. It is a question of will there be rational leadership education leadership in the district. Is there going to be polarization that's felt that if if it happens here when teachers are said of war or not through their own volition with the administrators and some community extremists I want to even use the term
parents for them. But it could be that that it could develop elsewhere. I think that the reason they feel threatened is because somehow rather than construed that to mean what we want are teachers that are also ethnically oriented to the child's deafness. We've never said we've always done it languished on the thought of having teachers that speak the main language that the children are speaking. The child is speaking at home. That doesn't necessarily mean that we want only native speakers. We can't afford that luxury. We want individuals that are able to communicate with the child but also with the parent. It's equally important during these formative years in education for the parent and the teacher to communicate with one another which is not the case in most instances and desperate to one. We still have 80 percent of our teachers aren't able to communicate with the parents of the children that they're teaching. We're not opposed to bilingual education is not a fact. We think that it's certainly a valid approach that
want to be given every opportunity to succeed. However what is necessary is that there should be qualified people running programs in District 1. I don't believe that that is the case. There are people who pose as educators with no background in bilingual education who are basically leading the program. If we are destroying the program down the drain who's going to run the schools. It's going to be a union. Are teachers going to be allowed to select their own employers through a powerful union coalition with supervisors. Or are pounds going to place the demand on the education of dead children. Most parents do not have a background in education here and they only see for example a classroom from the perspective of their one child. They don't see it from a total perspective as there is an administrator would when
he comes in to observe the teacher what's going on. They also see it in rather discrete time time limits like they don't see it as a continuing continuing process as they come down and those and those days are those instances where they come in to see the teacher in the school for some other area so they don't have a view of it's a content education is a continuous kinds of process what happens when they may or may not be related to what happened the next day. The teacher may have a bad day the children may have a rough day it happens in every occupation. At times the battle went beyond words and ended in violence. One occasion was when four went to his fired acting principal to Leo Rodriguez. The U.S. claims that even though Mr. Rodriguez was Puerto Rican he was fired for not going along with Fuentes for when to claims he was fired because many parents were unhappy with his performance. That was their side anyway.
And we can't have that we don't want him back. And they yell at me and nobody else has been taken back into the teachers and some parents demonstrated against the removal of Rodriguez but they were met by counter demonstrators and teenagers from the neighborhood who threw eggs bricks and bottles at the teachers in the end. One 14 year old boy was arrested for reciting to riot. Tensions continue to build and on May 1st 1973 the community school board elections were held in District want to become a battle not only over who would control the schools but also whether or not the response has would remain as superintendent. When the results came in the committee for Effective Education will oppose foreign tastes and was supported by the US won six out of the nine seats on the board. The slate supported by the parents won the remaining three seats. But the controversy did not end here. The very next day parents were protesting the results claiming that a number of irregularities had
taken place in the election and the people were not saying what happened. The polling places in here Tuesday morning don't really know the reason why we want new elections. What happened to my personal experience at 8:00 in the morning I went to vote and that was the inspector in the particular polling place that I was supposed to vote they will explain that their names were not there this is completely a scandal and they brought their case to court but before a decision was handed down there was another development at an emotionally charged board meeting unity for the recently elected majority backed by the U.S.A. and it voted to remove Fuentes his superintendent by every parents protested but the school boycott is a joke. And Fuentes was later reinstated by federal judge Charles Stewart pending his decision on the election on January 11th 1974. Judge Stewart ruled in favor of the parents. He removed the recently elected school board and called for new elections to be held May 14. He had point to Paul Greenberg is director of a special election unit to oversee the election and devise a plan that would be more equitable to all of residents of the community.
Judge 2 it ruled that the voting shall take place only in the 20 public elementary and junior high schools in the district which some people consider an equity although it makes it more difficult for Sama. It's fair for all. How many polling sites were there in the prior election. Thirty two. So it's cutting down the number of children cutting down the number of polling sites and some cases indeed making some people walk a couple blocks further in some cases making it a little closer to centering the election entirely within the school system if they're holding off for the UFC candidates went back to court recently in an attempt to restore some of the polling sites especially those located in the middle income cooperatives along Grand Street an area where they receive their greatest support. In the last election they feel the new plan discriminates against the residents who live there especially the elderly. By making it more difficult for them to vote however some senior citizens who appeared at those hearings
felt differently. I feel that it's a tremendous injustice to talk about putting polling places in the co-ops and not putting them in the projects if they're going to put them in the co-op building is then definitely there should be one in each one of the projects. That this is the place and that that's the only way to even out so that they all the people in the community get the chance to do it in the same profession if that's what they're after. Judge to what role that the UFC candidates have not presented sufficient evidence of hardship and that the new plan would remain in effect. So the special election for the Community School Board will take place tomorrow as scheduled and the voters will have a choice between the committee for effective education supported by the UFC and whose slogan is vote Brotherhood and the parents lite now call por Los Ninos for the children. Although some of the candidates are new the issues remain the same. We're not against teachers but we are against those stages that cannot communicate that are not sensitive to the needs of the children. I don't hear it from 8:00 in the morning 2:30 p.m. they take because they
need to Queens somewhere else. We wanted to just leave the community disband their morning talk to our children on Saturdays and Sundays. This is what we're looking forward to who spend your money at this community would be a better community. I think what has happened is the issue has become a polarization issue by which. Would be teachers I would say I wouldn't call them teachers but there would be teachers who were Spanish or Puerto Rican background who know Spanish very well here for quick perhaps not English very well I'm not really qualified in many instances to be teachers have been hired by Mr. Fuentes as part of a political patronage payroll which he is. He has created for a power base for himself the sacrifices the children's education. The ones that had the most to lose are the public school parents because their kids and I getting educated. The bad housing down here is again the bad tenements the rats in the road use and the ceiling of plaster no heat and water again a Puerto Rican
and blasting Chinese I'm sorry guys consciously and then of course the most important part of all of that is the fact that the only thing we have home to look to is the C-2 is that kids get a decent education which is now being controlled by a white group. There really does not represent a reason when I went to school on the Lower East Side. Other areas New York City most of my teachers were Irish and German. Most of the students or classes I thought were Jewish backgrounds or Absolutely the social or sometimes even hostile toward their well were well I like Appreciate that education I received from nowhere asking for a chance to be involved meaningfully involved and that decisions are made without our involvement. And the white community specifically in the Lower East Side has only consulted with us when they needed us and their station has been controlling us which I think has to stop and I think over the years people have built
hostility towards that in one sense the white Jewish population votes in a traditional real liberal pattern and as such when things were getting a number of white Jewish votes. So it's not a monolithic problems other than that there is the elderly white Jewish population which is a rate of around two years and then the rounding that has occurred in the schools that were in play out over into the streets. And so they regard him as something quite different. They religious people in the community you know the fire bombing of synagogues and this always seems to be related to disagreements between went this and school board and they feel it was such a connection and they will vote. I think all the evidence indicates that frankly it's not an educator basically he's a politician who is using the schools as a as an opportunity for him to for himself to build up his personal power base. I
feel that I so I would seek every legal method as a member the school board to remove him. He is what we look for forward and the top of the caterer think he's bilingual he demand that was elected by the community before to start first on the principle he has been you know elected by the community again I think is disappointing then and he has an open door policy and he believes in the problems that we need but my thinking is great for our community. Whatever the outcome of this election it's unlikely that the controversy will cool down overnight. And while the struggle goes on it is the children who stand to lose the most. Their reading scores are among the lowest in the city with only 20 percent reading at or above grade level. But perhaps someday hopefully before these children have grown up or dropped out the words inscribed on a plaque in the Grand Street cooperatives will become a reality for all children on the Lower East Side. We want to better America an America that will give its citizens first of all a higher
standard of living so that no child will cry for food in the midst of plenty an America that will have no sense of insecurity and which will make it possible for all groups regardless of race creed or color to live in friendship and be real neighbors. Tomorrow's voting will take place from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and 20 schools in the district. The counting of the ballots is a rather cumbersome process however in the final results will not be available until later in the week. Supreme Court says Justice Department wiretapped illegally in 600 cases revels in Portuguese Guinea propose negotiations to end fighting their Soviet police questioned dissident Jewish ballet star Valerie friends fear for his safety first returns
indicated voting three to two to retain divorce law. After drug overdose assistant U.S. attorney Peter Flom resumes trial of Representative Angelo mancala and the dungeons Industrial Average dropped almost five points in light trading today. How can a big bank the 20th largest in the country lay an egg that's supposed to be left to more fly by night outfits. Well the Franklin National Bank came up with a spectacularly bad performance in the first three months of this year. It seems that the bank was hurt by the high interest rates it had to pay as a result its earnings fell 83 percent. That news coupled with the decision to skip a dividend sent tremors through Wall Street. The Federal Reserve Board said it would
loan the bank funds in order to prevent a panic. Wright Patman chairman of the House Banking Committee today attacked this weekend rescue action by the Fed. The poor don't get that kind of help he said. What's more frank than national has just disclosed that it lost between fourteen and thirty nine million dollars on its foreign exchange operations. They're called arbitraging and they amount to educated guesses on what future exchange rates will be among the world's currencies arbitraging includes betting against the dollar. Well big banks do it. But top executives are supposed to keep a watch on it. Exchange brushless are not supposed to throw good money after bad. Somebody at Franklin National did just that. So today the president of Franklin national was fired. The vice chairman quit taking responsibility for the foreign exchange laws. And James Smith the U.S. controller of the currency told the fifty first state that his agency which inspects banks is looking into the possibility of personal for on.
Franklin national decided today that it had to borrow 50 million dollars rather than take the federal aid. It will probably get a large chunk from Michelle a Sindo not called Italy's Howard Hughes and reported to represent the Vatican. He already owns a fifth of the bank. His bid for a bigger share was turned down recently but he looks like the big winner this time. Franklin National's depositors are protected by federal deposit insurance. But trading in its stock has been suspended at least until Wednesday. Federal investigators are on the scene and the talk is that Frank the National might have to merge with another sounder bank. It all goes to show that federal inspection leaves something to be desired and even a big bank can run a little short like the rest of us when it manages its money poorly. So who can you trust. This is wind up week in Albany in these final hectic days of the state legislative session literally dozens of
important bills will be gaveled in the law. There remains however only one major controversy still to be resolved. Daily News in 50 First State Albany correspondent Tom poster has a report in the rush to a German here only one complicated problem remains. It's rent control repeal of vacancy decontrol in New York City but on a second floor of the Capitol. The last legislative wars being fought between Governor Wilson and assembly speaker Perry. The man who is governor and a man who wanted to be governor they have badly divided over the rent control bill submitted by Wilson and Jerry Yang is firmly opposed to what state wide coverage he believes it should only apply to those who want it. In New York City in the suburbs but Wilson says it should not be regional Rent Control says Wilson is not a local problem but affects the entire state. They argued Beverly over it and one intense point. Wilson reportedly had to snap to Jerry and I am the governor that Democrats are tense on the outside but they're really laughing on the inside hoping this internal Republican feud will bust open a grand old party and give the Republicans a good
old fashioned primary fight like the Democrats always have. The Democrats who know Wilson will get the Conservative Party nomination and will not be a pushover in November. Backing Kerry all the way in his legislative feud with the governor the Democrats think there was an outside chance Doug. Jerry you still may challenge Wilson in a primary. A solid break between Wellstone and Jerry is the best news the Democrats could have would carry on this side at least in the legislature. The Democrats might have a chance eventually in November and before this session is over they might even get a bill passed one bill that the legislature in Albany is almost sure to pass is a five hundred million dollar aid package for Con Ed Con Ed says that if it doesn't get the money and soon one of two things will happen. Con Ed will go bankrupt or maybe you will since your electric bill will be going
up 25 percent. Well a lot of people have sought the Con Ed was crying wolf but today state controller Arthur Levitt a Democrat said that his office had conducted an audit and the Con Ed was just as poorly off as Mr. Lewis has been saying. That comes as cold comfort to Bob Abrams the borough president of the Bronx and a longtime critic of Consolidated Edison. We wanted someone here tonight to be a critic of Mr. Abrams but Con-Ed declined our invitation to send a spokesman. Mr. Abrams I gather that you are not at all happy about this bill before the legislature. Would you rather have us paying 25 percent more for our electricity. Well I'd rather have us explore the variety of alternatives that might befall us. What really concerns me is this blackmail tactic in the closing hours of the legislative session. I'm a little suspect of that. And I share the concern of the Democratic members of both the Senate and the assembly who come from New York City who say that they're willing to have state support and help for Con Ed if it is demonstrated to them on the basis of a careful
audit facts and figures documentation as to what the need is and beyond that as to the answers to certain basic questions now for example. Well the way you raise that one point Mr. Leavitt is the auditor the Comptroller of the state. He is a Democrat a member of your own party. He said the Con Ed has demonstrated a need but they are in trouble. Well he has done it quickly and he did not do it in a written report which is the customary practice of the controller's office and. I really think in terms of an in-depth analysis people would be far more satisfied with the written report but there are other very important considerations as well. First of all this is a one shot deal apparently there's no long range plan a program in connection with what public participation in the Con Ed facility and operations mean. I'm slightly amused by all this because I've been an advocate over the years of having a public power presence within the city of New York students as a staunch advocate of Padmini being given the opportunity to
expand its resources and historically the monopoly privately owned utilities have thought it has need but some other questions emerge for example what will the public role be in the company in the future should there not be some members on the board of directors since we're pumping in something like 500 million dollars. The question could not the money perhaps be utilized in a far more effective way. For example the closing stock rate for con it is under $8 and there are 61 million outstanding shares for the 500 million dollars we can buy the entire company and not merely two plants there are a lot of questions relating to the you know that me ask you one quick question. Do you think that the reason that Con Ed has gotten into such a deep financial hole is that Con Ed's problem Mr. Lew says that it's a problem of the Arab oil countries charging so much for oil. Oh I think that's a misstatement of fact. Con Ed has been mismanaged for a long time has had its problems way before the oil crisis I mean the Arab oil
problem is only in the last few months. During that period of time from one thousand fifty eight to nine hundred seventy two. While across the country utility rates decreased on a national average by 13 percent. Con Ed rates increased by over 60 percent. Let me ask you one final quick question. If the company is as you say so poorly managed and there's going to be continuing financial pressure. Do you think that the ultimate answer is nationalizing or having the state take over the whole operation. I think that may well be the ultimate answer here but not the way the legislature seems to be proceeding. One shot deal shot in the dark. You know just pay our five hundred million dollars without a plan without a blueprint. I think we should have an overall phased in approach as to how the public can be guaranteed of an effective operating power generation facility planning program and how it will relate to reduction in rates in the years ahead. Thank you Mr. Abrams. Clear.
Look sonny used to be 50. That's it for tonight. Tomorrow on a special one and a half hour edition of the fifty first state. We'll take a look at the forgotten killings of blacks on American college campuses killings without indictments. And because tomorrow marks its 26 anniversary we'll have a documentary on Israel and we'll bring you the returns from the mayor's race in New York. And now for the 50 first day. I'm John Oliver. Goodnight.
The 51st State #372
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A film by Gail Jansen reports on the conditions in School District 1, where the United Federation of Teachers is running a slate of candidates against a slate backed by the neighborhood, in a re-election ordered by a Federal Judge. Shots of Lower East Side and children in a bilingual classroom. In the studio, Gordon Weil reports on the financial problems facing the Franklin National Bank, the subsequent resignation of the vice-chairman, the firing of the President and talk of investigations by the Federal government. Tom Poster reports from Albany on the Governors attempt to get a rent control bill that will be acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats. In the studio, Robert Anson speaks with Robert Abrams, Bronx Borough President, who is opposed to the $500 million aid package for Consolidated Edison that is before the legislature.
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Chicago: “The 51st State #372,” Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
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APA: The 51st State #372. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from