WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 28, 2018 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today:
"America's Public Television Stations are grateful to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for providing level funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for Fiscal Year 2021 and $20 million in FY 2019 for an annual interconnection and infrastructure account, which is the backbone of the public broadcasting system, providing local stations with national programming, connecting stations with each other, and creating efficiencies for our system.
“These federal funds are indispensable to local public television stations’ public service missions and to ensuring that everyone everywhere in America has access to these essential services.
“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 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 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 await further word on funding for Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education. Local public television stations enhance the programming funded by Ready To Learn to help teachers and caregivers make the most of public television’s media resources in schools, preschools, homeschools, Head Start and other daycare centers, libraries, mobile learning labs and apps, Boy and Girls Clubs, and community centers. This on-the-ground support provided by public television has been proven to help close the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers.
“We are most grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). The broad support for this funding among both Republican and Democratic members of the committee, where the bill passed on a vote of 30-1 today, mirrors the support the American people have consistently given to our work in communities throughout the country.”
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.