APTS Commends House for Approving Increased Funding for Public Broadcasting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 31, 2020 – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved $515 million in advance funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in Fiscal Year 2023.
The approved funding was included in the FY 2021 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.
“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful that the House of Representatives has approved $515 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for Fiscal Year 2023,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.
“This significant increase of $50 million for CPB will help restore the purchasing power of the federal investment in public television, which had eroded by about $100 million over 10 years of level funding. 
“This restoration 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.
“As millions of students were suddenly homebound when schools were forced to close earlier this year, public television stations in all 50 States immediately launched free, remote learning services, devoting their entire daytime broadcast schedules to age-appropriate educational programming and ensuring that families could continue their children’s education regardless of their ability to access the internet.
“In partnership with States and local school districts, public television stations provided standards-based, curriculum-aligned instruction everywhere and began construction of a datacasting bridge across the digital divide for students without internet access.

“Public television stations deliver essential public safety services, providing the backbone for presidential communications with the American people in times of national emergency, linking local law enforcement and first responder agencies with one another and with the public, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to use public television’s broadcast signal to enhance public safety communications through datacasting.
“And public television stations provide essential civic leadership to America’s communities through initiatives ranging from serving as the “C-SPAN” of State governments to hosting candidate debates at every level of the ballot, to combating the opioid crisis with community partners, to telling the stories of hometown America as no one else can.
“We are also appreciative that the committee has recommended level funding of $20 million in FY 2021 for station interconnection, the backbone of the public broadcasting system, supporting nationwide emergency alerting, providing local stations with national programming, connecting stations with each other, and creating operational efficiencies.
“And we are very pleased that the committee has provided $30 million, an increase of $1 million, in FY 2021 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, 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.

“Such an investment in our missions and modern technology will pay extraordinary dividends to the American people, in the form of a better educated society, safer communities and a more secure country, and a citizenry well prepared to lead the world’s most important democracy.
“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.” 


About APTS
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.

Stacey Karp