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Flint Announces Deal with Schools to Produce TV Programming

Matti Mattial, Flickr

The City of Flint has entered into an agreement with Flint Community Schools to provide funding for the creation and operation of Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) television programming. The City will use quarterly fees collected from AT&T for the purpose of PEG programming to fund the School District’s establishment, operation and maintenance of a studio and broadcast abilities.

The City of Flint also provided the Flint School District with video equipment acquired from Comcast for the creation of a PEG studio. With the PEG funding, the School District plans on creating a curriculum around video production in each of its high schools. The students and faculty of the high school will then produce educational programming and assist the City in the production of Governmental programming for broadcast on local video service providers.

“This is a win-win-win for the City of Flint, the Schools and the community as a whole”, Flint School Superintendent Linda Thompson said. “Not only will our students be able to gain real world experience in a technical field, but our City will be able to utilize the creativity of its young people and provide a benefit to the community in the form of quality programming.” Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz agreed with Thompson’s statement saying the agreement is “a great benefit to the City of Flint and its residents.”

The scope of the PEG program is expected to grow as it becomes more established. One of the goals the School District is working on is the implementation of a Student News and Media Project in which students would produce a program for broadcast once or twice per marking period. Other school districts such as Grand Blanc and Davison have similar programs utilizing student help to produce content for PEG channels.

Under the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act (MCL 484.3301), Michigan municipalities collect franchise fees from video service providers operating within their jurisdiction. 2% of gross revenues are to be paid to the municipality for the support of costs for PEG access facilities and services. The City will give these quarterly payments to the School District for the support of PEG activities.

AT&T is the sole service provider that contributes to PEG, Comcast was able to opt out by providing equipment and its installation as part of a past settlement agreement with the City of Flint.

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