APTS Commends Congress For Including Ready To Learn in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – December 2, 2015 - The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Conference Report to accompany S.1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This legislation includes the reauthorization of Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that invests in research-based, proven effective, educational media content to build the math and reading skills of children between the ages of two and eight, especially those from low-income families.

“The Association of Public Television Stations is delighted that Ready To Learn is included in the Conference Report on the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “We are deeply grateful to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) for their bipartisan leadership, which was essential in moving this legislation forward.

“We are particularly appreciative of the bipartisan champions of the Ready To Learn program, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who led the charge on continuing this valuable program. In addition, the support of Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Al Franken (D-MN) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) has also been invaluable, as has the long-standing commitment of Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) who has sponsored the Ready To Compete Act, legislation to reauthorize the Ready To Learn program, since 2008.

“The success of this program was reaffirmed last month by WestEd, a national nonprofit research, development and service agency, that released a new study which showed how Ready To Learn funded programs are working exactly as intended, including bridging the achievement gap and raising the school readiness levels of pre-schoolers from low-income families significantly,” Butler said.

Ready To Learn has supported the research, development, creation and academic rigor of public television’s high quality on-air, online, mobile and on-the-ground educational content for children including Peg + Cat, Odd Squad, Curious GeorgeSUPER WHY!Martha SpeaksThe Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About ThatSid the Science Kid and The Electric Company, among others.

“We’re pleased that Congress has recognized the importance of continuing this highly successful, cost-effective program that is used by 71percent of all kids age two to eight,” Butler concluded. “We’re hopeful that this conference report will pass the U.S. Senate and soon become law.”

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. APTS represents the overwhelming majority of the 171 public television licensees nationwide. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities to foster strong and financially sound noncommercial television. APTS also works to ensure member stations’ commitment and capacity to perform essential public service missions in education, public safety and civic leadership for the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.