WASHINGTON – September 28, 2018 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement on the finalization of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill:
“America's Public Television Stations are delighted that Congress has approved, and the President has signed, legislation providing full funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2021, $20 million in FY 2019 for an annual interconnection and infrastructure account, and $27.7 million in FY 2019 for the Ready To Learn program, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports public television's essential work – on the air, online and on the-ground – in early childhood education.
“Federal funding for public media remains essential to local public television stations’ public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership, and to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, every day has access to these essential services for free.
“With these funds, public television helps millions of preschool children get ready to learn in school and succeed in life, and supports two million teachers who educate 40 million K-12 students in American classrooms every day. Public television content created through Ready To Learn grants has been proven to help close the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers.
“With these funds, public television stations across the country deliver essential public safety services, including providing critical information through datacasting to first responders in emergencies as diverse as flood warning and response in Houston, search and rescue of missing persons in rural Grant County, Washington, over-water emergency communications many miles into Lake Michigan from Chicago, massive crowd control in Washington, D.C., enhanced 911 responsiveness in North Carolina and dramatically faster delivery of early earthquake warnings in California.
“And with these funds, public television serves as the ‘C-SPAN’ of state governments, produces thousands of hours of programming every year on local public affairs, history and culture, and hosts candidate debates at every level of the ballot. We equip the citizens of the world’s greatest democracy with the information they need to govern themselves effectively and successfully.
“We are most grateful to the bipartisan leadership of the Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees for providing this critical funding for public broadcasting, most notably Chairmen Richard Shelby (R-AL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, (R-NJ) and Tom Cole (R-OK), Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ranking Members Patty Murray (D-WA), Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
“The broad support for public media funding among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress reflects the overwhelming support the American people have consistently given to our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this vote of confidence in our work.”
“Today is the culmination of the Appropriations Committees’ major bipartisan effort to consider and pass appropriations bills in a timely manner. With the president’s signature today, this is the first time in more than 20 years that the Labor-HHS-Education Bill was signed into law before the end of the fiscal year. We are encouraged by the great progress made by the Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees this year, and we commend the leaders and members of Congress for working together towards a return to regular order.”
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.