WASHINGTON – March 16, 2017 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement on President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget that was released today:
“The President’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) defies the will of the American people and would devastate the educational and public safety missions of public television they value most.
“For $1.35 per citizen per year, America’s public television stations:
- Get millions of preschool children ready to learn in school and succeed in life.
- Help two million teachers enlighten 40 million K-12 students in American classrooms every day.
- Provide the backbone for presidential communications with the American people in times of national emergency, link local law enforcement and first responder agencies with one another and with the public, partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to promote public safety datacasting nationwide, and commit 1 Megabit per second of their bitstream to support the FirstNet federal public safety communications network.
- Serve as the “C-SPAN” of state governments, host candidate debates at every level of the ballot, and produce 200 daily or weekly series on local public affairs, history and culture.
“The Government Accountability Office found that there is no substitute for federal funding in the provision of these services to everyone, everywhere, every day, for free.
“And the American people, by overwhelming margins, support this work and oppose the elimination of the federal funding that makes it possible.
“Survey research conducted in February by the bipartisan team of Linda DiVall at American Viewpoint and Geoff Garin of Hart Research finds that three out of four voters want funding for public television maintained or increased -- including 66 percent of those who voted for President Trump. More than 8 in 10 voters are concerned about the loss of our public safety communications capabilities, and 76 percent are concerned about the loss of educational programs and services that help America’s children prepare for success in school.
“With our millions of champions across the American heartland, America's Public Television Stations look now to the Congress to respect the clear will of the American people, to honor the long history of bipartisan support for our work, and to continue the federal government’s investment in our essential missions of education, public safety and civic leadership.”
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and providing essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.