WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 19, 2017 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today commending the U.S. House Appropriations Committee for its bipartisan support of public broadcasting funding:
“America's Public Television Stations are grateful to the House Appropriations Committee for providing level funding of $445 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and level funding of $25.7 million in FY 2018 for Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports the creation of public television's on-air, online and on-the-ground children’s educational media content.
“These federal funds are essential to local public television stations’ public service missions and to ensuring that everyone everywhere in America has access to these essential services.
“With the help of 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.
“With the help of 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 the help of these funds, public television serves as the “C-SPAN” of state governments, hosts candidate debates at every level of the ballot, and produces 200 daily or weekly series on local public affairs, history and culture.
“This is not a matter of the federal government subsidizing one television channel and one radio network in preference to all the others, but rather it is a modest public investment in local stations that provide essential public services that teach America’s children, protect America’s communities, and give America’s citizens the information they need to oversee the world’s most important democracy.
“While we very much appreciate the level funding for CPB and Ready To Learn, we are concerned about the lack of funding for the critical Interconnection system, the backbone of the public broadcasting system. The Interconnection system is used to distribute national programming and public safety alerts to local stations in all 50 States, connecting stations with each other, and creating efficiencies for our system. We remain hopeful that as the appropriations process moves forward, the needed $55 million for Interconnection in FY 2018 will be provided.
“We are especially thankful for the leadership of Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey, and Subcommittee Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro, for ensuring this legislation reflects the broad bipartisan consensus in favor of funding for CPB and Ready To Learn. We are very proud that support for public broadcasting's essential public service missions in education, public safety and civic leadership continues to grow on both sides of the aisle in Congress.”
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.