WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 21, 2018 - America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reexamine requirements of television licensees to provide educational and informational children’s programming:
“Early childhood educational television programming has been the hallmark of public television since its inception.
“Public television has since broadened and deepened its commitment to children’s educational television programming and services, taking full advantage of the technological progress that has revolutionized communications in the 21st century while also nurturing the oldest teaching technique known to mankind: the imparting of knowledge from adults to children in the setting of family, school and social organizations.
“Public television provides the only free, over-the-air national television service for children -- offering more than 20 shows that support kids’ learning -- and now reaches more than 95 percent of U.S. television households all day every day, reaching the 54 percent of America’s children who don’t receive any formal preschool education.
“Public television’s educational programming is not only broadcast over-the-air and through cable and satellite delivery but also streamed across a multitude of digital platforms, delivering 4 billion videos a year to more than 11 million unique users of our children’s educational content.
“And PBS LearningMedia, a K-12 classroom service with more than two million registered users reaching 40 million students, has adapted more than 100,000 curriculum-aligned, interactive, digital learning objects from the best of public television programming and other authoritative sources including the Library of Congress, National Archives, NASA, the National Science Foundation and more.
“Underlying all of this work in education are America’s 350 local public television stations, which provide the secret ingredient -- real, live people -- to take full advantage of public television’s national and local educational programming.
“Partnering with schools, Head Start centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, community libraries, mobile learning labs and other institutions, we offer hands-on teaching and professional development to accompany our broadcast and broadband program offerings.
“We could do more -- more original programming, more adaptation for classroom use, more educational staff and curriculum aids to enhance the instructional process, more delivery systems made possible by new technology -- with more financial resources, whether from governments, foundations, corporations, individuals, or fellow broadcasters, as envisioned by the Children’s Television Act itself.
“America’s public television stations stand ready to work with all interested parties to ensure that the educational and informational needs of America’s young people are fully met with all the scholastic, technological and policy tools we can devise and devote to our most fundamental mission.”
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.