WASHINGTON — February 13, 2012 — The Association of Public Television Stations today praised President Obama for his recommendation of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in his fiscal year 2013 budget submission.
“We are grateful to the President for providing level funding for CPB and for continuing the advance funding mechanism so important to our stations and producers,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “This funding will enable the 170 public television licensees around the country to continue their essential service to 170 million Americans in education, job training, emergency alert systems, public affairs programming that makes us better citizens, and historical, scientific and cultural programming that brings out the best in the American people.”
“We regret the President’s proposed consolidation with other education programs of Ready To Learn, public television’s core on-air and online educational content, which has a proven track record of building the reading skills of children between the ages of 2 and 8,” continued Butler. “More than 60 studies in the past five years have proven Ready to Learn’s powerful influence on very young minds, particularly helping children from low-income families close the achievement gap. Keeping Ready To Learn as an independent flagship program for public television is, we believe, very much in the public interest.”
“We are also disappointed to see the Rural Utilities Service Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program marked for elimination by the President,” Butler said. “This funding helps to ensure that rural communities have continued access to local public television content after the federally mandated DTV conversion, which has been particularly difficult for rural communities, and we hope we may find $3 million in a $3.9 trillion budget to continue this service.”
“Public television did not expect immunity from the budget cuts that had been required across the government,” Butler concluded, “and the overall federal investment in public television has been reduced by more than 10 percent in the past two years. Within these necessary constraints, we will continue working toward our goal of a well-educated, well-informed, cultured and civil society, and again we are most grateful for the Administration’s endorsement of our work. We look forward to working with the Congress on these matters in the weeks ahead and continuing to justify the public’s faith in public broadcasting as the second best investment of federal funds, after national defense.”
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.