WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 19, 2019 – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved $495 million in advance funding for public broadcasting in Fiscal Year 2022, the first increase for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 10 years.
“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful that the House has approved this significant increase in funding for CPB,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.
“While we have appreciated steady funding through 10 years of budgetary austerity, the purchasing power of this funding has steadily eroded over time,” Butler said, “and this increase will enable public television stations to educate more children, protect more lives and property, and enable more well-informed citizens to guide the world’s most important democracy.
“We are also thankful that this legislation provides level funding of $20 million in FY 2020 for interconnect and infrastructure supporting our public safety and homeland security missions, delivering national programs to even the most rural and remote audiences, and creating operational efficiencies that stretch the value of every federal dollar.
“And we are especially pleased that the House has provided $30 million in FY 2020 for Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports public television’s essential work -- on-air, online and on-the-ground -- in early childhood education.
“This increase of more than $2 million will allow public television to enhance the successful national-local partnership that produces high-quality, curriculum-aligned national programming and enables local public television stations to make the most of that programming through engagement with community partners including schools, Head Start centers, Boys Clubs and Girls Clubs, and other institutions to help build science, math and literacy skills of children between the ages of two and eight.
“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.
“The federal investment in public broadcasting is 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.
“No one but public television can educate the more than half of America’s children who do not attend preschool. No one but public television provides tens of thousands of interactive, curriculum-aligned digital learning objects — for free — to two million teachers educating 40 million K-12 students in American classrooms every day.
“No one but public television can communicate with the public to keep Americans safe during times of crisis while also partnering with first responders nationwide to provide datacasting capabilities that enhance public safety communications and response.
“And no one but public broadcasting can teach Americans of all ages about their country, their history, their culture, their world and their universe through thousands of hours of documentary and public affairs programming.
“The broad support for public media funding among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress reflects the overwhelming support of the American people for our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this vote of confidence in our work.
“We are most grateful to the bipartisan leadership of Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger, and Subcommittee Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole for the critical support they have provided for the work of local public television stations through this funding for CPB, interconnection and Ready To Learn.”
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.