WASHINGTON – December 18, 2015 – The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today commending the U.S. Congress for providing level funding for public broadcasting and investing in public television’s interconnection system in the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
“We are very grateful to Congress for providing level advance funding of $445 million in Fiscal Year 2018 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), level funding of $25.7 million in FY 2016 for Ready To Learn and $40 million for public television’s interconnection system. The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittees, particularly Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and Representatives Hal Rogers (R-KY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), have provided extraordinary bipartisan leadership and we’re deeply appreciative of their ongoing support of the public service missions of public broadcasting – education, public safety and civic leadership.
“The federal investment in public broadcasting supports the last locally-owned, locally-controlled media in America, reaching more than 99 percent of the American people and serving them not only on television but in the classroom, the emergency response network and the community. The vast majority of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting goes to local stations to support this work.
“Ready To Learn has been a critical factor in developing the educational tools with which public television helps tens of millions of children -- particularly those from low-income families -- get ready to succeed in school and in life. Ready To Learn created content has been proven to help close the achievement gap.
“And the investment in the much-needed upgrade of public television interconnection system will ensure that local stations’ high-quality programming and educational services will be available to everyone, everywhere, every day, for free, including the most rural and remote areas of the country. In addition, this interconnection update will ensure that stations can continue to be the backbone of the national emergency alert system and provide other critical public safety services.
“We are greatly encouraged by the growing bipartisan support in Congress for local public broadcasting stations and we look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”
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.