Federal funding is critical seed money that enables local public television stations to provide essential public services to their communities.
The vast majority of federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting— over 70 percent — goes directly to local stations to provide these services which are centered around education, public safety and civic leadership.
This relatively small amount of funding — approximately $1.35 per citizen per year — represents one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Federal funding is the backbone of a highly successful public-private partnership which enables local stations to meet their unique community needs and provide unparalleled services throughout this country, every day, everywhere to everyone for free.
Federal funding is particularly critical for smaller stations and those serving more rural and remote areas where the cost to provide service is often exponentially higher than in more densely populated urban areas.
Study after study, including one by the Government Accountability Office, has found that there is no substitute for federal funding to ensure universal service for public television.
And this federal investment has broad bipartisan public support. For well over a decade, public television has been ranked the most trusted public institution and the second best use of taxpayer dollars, behind only military defense.
A recent Hart Research/American Viewpoint poll found that 73 percent of voters across the political and geographic spectrum oppose eliminating funding for public television and 83 percent of voters, including 70 percent of those who voted for President Trump, say they would tell elected representatives to find other places to save money.
The small but critical amount of federal funding provided annual to public broadcasting is what enables local public television stations to educate people of all ages with lifelong learning programs and services, partner with local public safety officials to help save lives, and provide civic leadership resources to strengthen our democracy by giving our citizens the grounding they need in the history, culture and civic affairs of their communities, their states and their country.