WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 25, 2020 – Emergency legislation approved by the Senate today includes $75 million to help public media stations deal with sharply declining private revenues and sustain essential public services during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Corporate, foundation and individual giving to local public television stations have rapidly decreased in the wake of the economic downturn accompanying the contagion,” said Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of America’s Public Television Stations, “even while public television stations have dramatically expanded remote learning services for millions of students whose schools have been closed in the national emergency.”
“Working from home and without any financial resources budgeted for addressing such an extraordinary challenge, local public television stations in more than 25 states have already stood up a broad range of standards-based, curriculum-aligned educational services, in collaboration with state and local education authorities and PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia, to help students, teachers and parents continue a high quality learning process.
“Many stations are devoting their entire daytime schedules to age-appropriate educational programming, Butler said, “and stations are also providing online services, learning games, teacher and parent guides, and other resources.
“We expect to do this in all 50 States soon, and we’re doing all of this while continuing our other essential public services of public safety communications, highly trusted civic information and in-depth local programming to bring security and clarity to a troubled nation.
"While even $75 million only begins to address these unprecedented needs while private revenues are plummeting, we are grateful for the broad support for this emergency funding for public media among both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate,” Butler said. “We will do our best with the resources we have to serve our country and our fellow citizens in this time of shared crisis.”
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.