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but rather stlf-indulgent desires flaunted under a banner labelled ‘freedom,'” the KITE ad said. “The problems, however, do not stop there. The student protestors have announced publicly that they will spread the revolt into the na tion’s high schools and junior highs. But they can only do so with the help of the mass media. And we refuse to be a tool of their virulent, selfish drive. We refuse to give them the publicity they desire and need.” The reviving Dallas chapter of the Americans . for Democratic Action protested before that city’s council the display on municipal vehicles of bumper stickers plugging Amendment No. 2, the water bonds issue. Alpine’s School Situation Austin and Alpine A group of Mexican-American legislators is watching the progress of efforts to settle a dispute over the integration of school facilities in the Big Bend town of Alpine. If school officials are unable or unwilling to offer reasonable assurances that the situation will be improved, the legislators say they are prepared to help a group of irate citizens take the matter to federal court on the grounds that the dispute involves violations of civil rights. The trouble revolves around the two elementary schools in Alpine Central elementary, built in 1910, which has a scholastic population of 400, 90% of which is Anglo; and Centennial Elementary, built in 1936, which has 460 pupils, more than 95% of whom are Mexican-Americans. The attendance zones of the two schools are separated by the railroad tracks that separate the Anglo neighborhood from the brown barrio. Alpine High School serves both groups. In a meeting July 28 in the State Capitol with Mexican-American legislators, a number of chicano parents from Alpine complained about the failure of an $800,000 bond issue that would have financed a new elementary school. Had the issue been passed the two elementary student bodies would have been consolidated and the two old elementaries closed. But the issue was defeated, 479-417, in an election last May. However, Alpine voters did approve a $1.5 million proposition to finance a new high school and make repairs to other structures. THE ALPINE parents told the legislators that strong opposition had developed within the business community against the proposition that would have consolidated the elementary schools. Some employers openly discouraged their workers from taking time away from their jobs to vote, the parents charged. One voting place was established for the election. It was located about 15 blocks from the barrio, at Central Elementary School. One of the poll watchers appointed was a Mexican-American who earlier had campaigned against passage of the elementary school proposal, the parents said. Alpine school board member Pete Gallegos told the legislators that after the election the board rejected, by a 5-2 vote, Gallegos’ proposal that the elementaries be integrated by putting kindergarten through fourth grade in one school and the fifth through eighth grades in the other. Voting with Gallegos was the only other MexicanAmerican on the board, Johnny Sotelo. Only three of the more than 60 teachers in Alpine are Mexican-Americans, Gallegos said. He charged further that barrio children receive inadequate language instruction, and their school facilities at Centennial are generally inferior to those of Central. Chicano children arrive at high school poorly prepared and have a higher dropout rate than their Anglo classmates, he said. The Alpine school board, faced with the loss of accreditation of its schools by the Texas Education Agency because of problems involving educational standards and a deteriorating physical plant, voted a “freedom of choice” plan for the system starting in September. If parents south of the tracks want their children to go to Central Elementary, they may enroll them there, and visa-versa. Parents will have to transport their children, said the board, because no bus service will be provided. In making this decision, the board chose to ignore the fact that it already provides lunch-hour bus service to ferry children from Centennial to Central, which has the only cafeteria of the two schools, and return. Two hundred Mexican-American parents immediately notified the administration that they want their children enrolled in Central in September under the freedom of choice plan, thus raising the possibility of swelling enrollment beyond the school’s capacities. T EXAS CMSR. of Education J. W. Edgar, who attended the Capitol meeting, said he investigated the situation in Alpine after hearing indirectly of the parents’ complaints. His inspector, he said, met with school administration and school board officials. There was no mention of a meeting with the parents’ group. Dr. Edgar confirmed the parents’ account of the schools’ enrollment, the racial ratio of teachers, and the bond vote. He also promised the parents a hearing by his office if they choose to file a formal complaint with him, which they have not yet done. Dr. Edgar also said Alpine school officials told his office they plan to consolidate the elementary schools on their own. the existing high school and change it to a receive the students there and at Centennial, which might be converted into a vocational-technical school. In a revealing exchange with Gerald Lopez of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, which is based in San Antonio, Edgar said his office only follows the guidelines laid out by the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare in enforcing school desegregation. The Texas Education Agency has no such policies of its own, the commissioner said. Lopez asked Edgar if the TEA attempts to enforce desegregation in areas where land purchases bear restrictive covenants that perpetuate segregated neighborhoods and, thereby, de facto segregation of schools. “We have nothing to do with that,” said the commissioner. “Well, I think you should,” said Lopez. “Can you order a school desegregated?” Lopez asked Edgar. “Yes, I suppose we could,” the commissioner replied, “but we are not an enforcement agency. We probably would have to go to court.” State Rep. George Baker of Fort Stocktcin, in whose district Alpine lies, said he knew nothing of the situation and had attended the meeting only to gather information. He promised cooperation with both sides. Rep. Tati Santiesteban of El Paso, chairman of the Mexican-American delegation in the Legislature, said the group should give the Alpine school board two weeks as to what it’s doing about the situation. Failing that, he said, the group should back the parents in taking the matter into federal court. August 15, 1969 11 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, , Texas CA 4-0686 If El