WASHINGTON — December 19, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the President and Congress for their support of public broadcasting in the final appropriations bill for FY 2012.
The bill provides level funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) at $445 million in FY 2014, while preserving the policy of a two-year advance appropriation to avoid political interference with programming and make possible the long-term, multi-hour productions of Ken Burns and other filmmakers for public television.
The legislation also includes $27.2 million in funding for FY 2012 for the Ready To Learn program, public television’s core on-air and online educational content which builds the reading skills of children between the ages of 2-8.
Unfortunately, the bill eliminated the CPB Digital program, a program that has continued to help stations meet ongoing digital needs in the post-transition environment.
“We are extremely grateful that the President and Congress continue to support level funding for public broadcasting, especially during these challenging times,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “We will make the most of this federal investment in our local communities as we expand and deepen our commitment to education, the business of citizenship, preserving the national memory and culture, job training, public safety and other essential services on which 170 million Americans regularly depend.”
“Maintaining level funding for Ready To Learn is critical for ensuring the program continues to meet the needs of those children with special challenges in developing math and reading skills,” Butler continued. “We can help save a generation of children by getting them ready for school, ready to learn, ready to succeed in our increasingly competitive society, and we thank our lawmakers for recognizing the importance of this work and public television’s well-documented contribution to it.”
“Our mission in public broadcasting is to create a well-educated, well-informed, cultured and civil society capable of fulfilling the responsibilities of citizenship in the world’s most important democracy,” concluded Butler. “In addition to the support we’ve been honored to receive from the President and Vice President, we are particularly grateful for the support of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin, Ranking Members Thad Cochran and Norm Dicks, Richard Shelby and Rosa DeLauro, the leadership in both the House and Senate, and the indefatigable Chairman of the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus Earl Blumenauer. This bipartisan support is especially meaningful to us as we seek to demonstrate every day that public broadcasting is a public service which people on all sides of the political spectrum can be proud to support."
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. Through its affiliate APTS Action, APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.