APTS Commends the U.S. Department of Education for Encouraging Applicants to Partner with Local Public Television Stations in the Promise Neighborhoods Program Grants

WASHINGTON — July 14, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the U.S. Department of Education for including two critical changes in its Promise Neighborhoods grant application priorities that will encourage the involvement of public broadcasting stations in innovative educational partnerships nationwide. Promise Neighborhoods supports neighborhood programs that combat poverty and improve educational opportunities for children.

In the 2011 competition, Priority 4, Comprehensive Local Early Learning Network, a competitive preference priority, the new Department guidelines include the following: “The proposal must describe how the project will provide, to the extent practicable, early learning opportunities on multiple platforms (e.g., public television, web-based) and in multiple locations (e.g., at home, at school and at other community locations).” The Department makes clear that public television stations are valuable partners because they are unique community organizations that can help applicants address both aspects of this priority. By partnering with public television stations, applicants can improve their chances of being awarded a grant.

Priority 4 also was updated to reflect that early literacy and numeracy be included as a focus of this program. The new guidelines state, “We have revised the second sentence in Final Planning Priority 4 and Final Implementation Priority 4 for both planning and implementation grants, which relates to an applicant’s plan for a comprehensive local learning network, to focus on improving outcomes across multiple domains of early learning. As defined in this notice, the term ‘multiple domains of early learning’ includes early literacy and numeracy.” Applicants must now address early literacy and numeracy and may therefore need local partners who can implement programs that emphasize these concepts. Local public television stations are uniquely positioned to help address this requirement.

“We are grateful to Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education for recognizing the value of partnering with public television in addressing the special needs of America’s most disadvantaged children,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “For more than 40 years, public television has been a pioneer in improving educational outcomes for these children, and the results of these efforts in teaching early literacy and numeracy skills have been well documented in a host of studies. With new technology, we can do this work on television, online, on the go, in the school and at home, and involve children, parents and teachers in a comprehensive learning environment – and do it for free in all 50 States. In recognizing these special characteristics of public television in the awarding of Promise Neighborhoods grants, the Department has taken a significant step toward ensuring the success of this program.”

For more information on the U.S. Department of Education’s Promises Neighborhood Program Grants and the emphasis of partnering with local public television stations, click here.

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. Through its affiliate APTS Action, APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.