WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 13, 2020 – The House Appropriations Committee today proposed $515 million in advance funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Fiscal Year 2023.
The proposed funding is included in the FY 2021 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The bill was reported today to the full House for consideration.
“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful that the House Appropriations Committee has recommended an appropriation of $515 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for Fiscal Year 2023,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.
“This increase of $50 million for CPB will enable public broadcasting 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 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 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.
“This increase of $1 million will enable public television to enhance the successful national-local partnership that produces the high-quality programming and services that have been so important to families during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 built a datacasting bridge across the digital divide for students without internet access.
“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.
“With these federal 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 America every day.
“With these funds, public television delivers 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 with these funds, public television serves as the “C-SPAN” of State governments, hosts candidate debates at every level of the ballot, and produces thousands of hours of programming on local public affairs, history and culture for America’s hometowns.
“We are especially thankful for the bipartisan leadership of Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger, and Subcommittee Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole, in producing this positive result and keeping faith with the overwhelming majority of Americans, across the political spectrum, who support federal funding for public television. We are encouraged that this bipartisan congressional support continues to grow year by year, and we will do our best to earn this support every day in service to America’s communities.”
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.