APTS Commends U.S. Senate for Including Ready To Learn in Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – December 9, 2015 – The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the U.S. Senate for passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and preserves the Ready To Learn program that helps pre-school children develop reading and math skills. 

“The birthright of public television has been our work in early childhood education, and Ready To Learn has been a critical factor in developing the educational tools with which public television helps tens of millions of children -- particularly those from low-income families -- get ready to succeed in school and in life,” said Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Public Television Stations.

“We are deeply grateful to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) for their bipartisan leadership in including Ready To Learn in the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“We are particularly appreciative of the bipartisan champions of the Ready To Learn program, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who led the charge on continuing this valuable program. In addition, the support of Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Al Franken (D-MN) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) has also been invaluable, as has the long-standing commitment of Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) who has sponsored the Ready To Compete Act, legislation that includes reauthorization of the Ready To Learn program, since 2008.”

Ready To Learn uses the power of public television’s on-air, online, mobile and on-the-ground educational content and engagement to build the math and reading skills of children between the ages of two and eight, especially those from low-income families.

“Since 2005, more than 80 research and evaluation studies have shown that Ready To Learn literacy and math content engages children, enhances their early learning skills and allows them to make significant academic gains, helping bridge the achievement gap,” said Butler. “This Ready To Learn content is currently used by 71 percent of all kids ages two to eight.”

“We’re pleased that both the U.S Senate and U.S. House have recognized the importance of continuing this highly successful, cost-effective program,” Butler concluded. “We are also profoundly grateful for President Obama's support of Ready To Learn, and we look forward to his signing this measure into law tomorrow.”

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. APTS represents the overwhelming majority of the 171 public television licensees nationwide. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities to foster strong and financially sound noncommercial television. APTS also works to ensure member stations’ commitment and capacity to perform essential public service missions in education, public safety and civic leadership for the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.