WASHINGTON – May 23, 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:
"America's Public Television Stations are disappointed in President Trump's FY 2018 budget proposal recommending the elimination of federal funding for public media. We are grateful that the Congress approved full funding for public broadcasting in its FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill a few weeks ago, and we are hopeful that Congress will continue this funding in Fiscal Year 2018 and beyond.
“We will continue to make our case to the White House that federal funding is essential to local public television stations’ ability to pursue their public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership, and to provide these services to everyone, everywhere, every day, for free.
“Public television stations have helped 90 million preschool children get ready to learn in school and succeed in life. We help nearly 2 million teachers educate 40 million K-12 students in classrooms every day through PBS LearningMedia. We are the backbone of national, state and local public safety communications networks. And we do more than anyone else to prepare America’s citizens for the task of running the world’s most important democracy.
“These are not ‘nice-to-have’ services but rather some of the most essential underpinnings of our national life. Public television provides all of this through a modest federal investment of about $1.35 per citizen per year, and there is simply not a better bargain in the federal budget.
“A strong and growing bipartisan majority of both the House and Senate has recognized this extraordinary return on investment and maintained our funding accordingly. The American people overwhelming support this work, including the 66 percent of voters for President Trump who say they would favor maintaining or increasing the federal investment in our mission.
“We look forward to working with both the Congress and the White House to ensure that this investment, whose overwhelming public support crosses all political boundaries, will continue.”
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.