APTS Applauds Funding for Public Broadcasting

WASHINGTON — April 14, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the United States Congress for providing level funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the final Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2011.

In a statement following House and Senate passage of the funding resolution, APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler said:

“The public broadcasting community is very grateful to the Congress and to President Obama for continuing to support our mission in these very challenging economic times.

“We are particularly indebted to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his stalwart support of public broadcasting throughout the difficult negotiations that produced this final funding bill for fiscal 2011. He is a true champion of our work, and we will be forever appreciative of his efforts on our behalf.

“We continue to be indebted to the Members of Congress who have championed public broadcasting over many years and throughout the difficult negotiations that produced this final funding bill for fiscal 2011. We’d like to particularly recognize the efforts of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye and Vice-Chairman Thad Cochran, Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin, Majority Whip Richard Durbin and Congressman Earl Blumenauer who has led the House efforts to preserve and strengthen public broadcasting over many Congresses.

“President Obama has been a steadfast advocate for public broadcasting and its educational mission, and we look forward to working with him and his Administration to expand this mission in innovative and effective ways in the years ahead.

“We in public broadcasting understand that in this challenging fiscal environment, difficult choices had to be made, even affecting programs that have had long-standing bipartisan support. The elimination of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) presents real challenges to public broadcasting stations’ commitment to maintain reliable service to all Americans. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to restore this critical program in the future.

“We were pleased that funding for Ready To Learn, public television’s core on-air and online educational content program that builds the reading skills of children between ages 2-8, was not eliminated in the final FY11 CR. However, as the final decision on funding for Ready To Learn moves to the Department of Education, we urge the Administration to continue supporting this critical program which has been proven by 60 studies over the last 5 years, to close the achievement gap.

“Our goal is to make public broadcasting as widely admired in the Congress as it is among the American people, across the political spectrum, and we will do our best to demonstrate to the Congress that public broadcasting plays an indispensible role in creating a well-educated, well-informed, cultured and civil society well-equipped for the demands of citizenship in the world’s greatest democracy.

“We are deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from the hundreds of thousands of Americans who answered our calls through the grassroots campaign 170 million Americans for Public Broadcasting, www.170millionamericans.org. These citizen advocates sent over half a million emails, and made many thousands of phone calls, to their members of Congress, expressing their support for federal funding. We are pleased that their voices were heard.” 

About APTS
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.