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EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING COUNCIL
[Authorized:  NDCC Chapter 15-65]

North Dakota state government had an early interest in extending the benefits of educational television to state residents. Following the creation of the north central educational television association in 1959 and the evolution of KFME-TV in the Fargo-Moorhead area, the state legislature allowed the superintendent of public instruction to contract "with a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing the people of the state with educational television services in the fields of elementary, secondary, higher education, adult education, and other fields tending to promote cultural developments" (S.L. 1961, Ch. 140). This effort to provide educational television for North Dakotans failed due to the lack of appropriations. In 1962, Governor William L. Guy appointed a nine to eleven member citizen's group to promote and study educational television in North Dakota.  This group the North Dakota educational television council (known later as the North Dakota television commission after 1965) sought to encourage the development of educational television in the state.

 The activities of the North Dakota educational television commission were given statutory authority in 1969 with the creation of the North Dakota educational broadcasting council. This council consisted of twelve members, including the superintendent of public instruction and the commissioner of higher education as ex-officio members who each appointed one member to the council. The Governor appointed eight members: four were required to be from the eastern half of the state, four from the western half, and all served a seven year term. The purpose of the council was to encourage and direct the creation of educational radio and television facilities in the state (S.L. 1969, Ch. 188).

In 1977, the state legislature expanded the powers of the North Dakota educational broadcasting council by allowing it "to contract with eligible applicants to build and operate public television stations in this state" (S.L. 1977, Ch. 188). During the same legislative session, funds were appropriated for the construction of a complete public television network (prairie public broadcasting) that served all of North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, parts of northern South Dakota, and cities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The network consisted of six stations in North Dakota and had the largest coverage area of any public television operation on the continent.  In 1989 the legislature amended the Century Code [NDCC 15.1-05-01] and the educational broadcasting council became the North Dakota telecommunications council and was placed administratively within the department of public instruction (S.L. 1989, Ch. 241).
 
CHRONOLOGY
1959       Creation of the north central educational television association in North Dakota.
 
1961       State legislature allowed the superintendent of public instruction to contract with a nonprofit corporation  however no appropriations were provided (S.L. 1961, Ch. 140).

1962       Governor Guy appointed a nine to eleven member citizen's group to promote and study educational television in North Dakota.  It was known as the North Dakota educational television council.

1965       North Dakota educational television council was renamed the North Dakota television commission.

1969       The legislature created the North Dakota educational broadcasting council (S.L.1969, Ch. 188).

1977       The council contracted with public television stations (S.L. 1977, Ch. 188).

1989       The legislature amended the Century Code and the educational broadcasting council was renamed the North Dakota telecommunications council and placed administratively within the department of public instruction (S.L. 1989, Ch. 241).

SERIES
30647 Educational Broadcasting Council. Minutes.
30648 Educational Broadcasting Council. Subject Files.
31818 Educational Broadcasting Council. Records.

SOURCES
Gray, David P.  Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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