WASHINGTON – July 11, 2013 – The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) for his introduction of H.R. 2653, the Ready To Compete Act.
APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement:
“The Association of Public Television Stations is most grateful to Congressman Yarmuth for introducing the Ready To Compete Act, an important legislative initiative that will match the enormous educational resources of public television with the enormous challenge of creating a more competitive American workforce to succeed in the global economy.
“For more than 50 years, public television stations across America have been deeply engaged in education and lifelong learning, for the benefit of hundreds of millions of Americans. We’ve helped more than 90 million pre-school children get ready to learn and to succeed in school and in life, and we are delighted that Congressman Yarmuth’s Ready To Compete proposal would reauthorize this highly effective Ready To Learn program to help millions more two-to-eight year olds – especially those from low-income families and underserved communities -- build their math, science and reading skills with the help of public television’s on-air and online educational content geared to a remarkably diverse and media-savvy generation of kids. The extraordinary impact of this competitive grant program has been confirmed by more than 70 independent studies, and we are delighted that Yarmuth bill would expand this program to serve children aged 9 to 13 if funding is available. The legislation would also enable rigorous professional development for educators and caregivers to help our children make the most of these educational assets.
“Ready To Compete will also address the growing needs of our nation’s adult learners, creating a Ready To Earn program to create and disseminate innovative educational digital content and services to help second-chance students, adult learners and displaced workers with GED preparation, adult literacy and workforce training skills.
“Congressman Yarmuth has been unwavering in his support for public broadcasting’s educational mission and in his recognition of the important role local stations – including the superb Kentucky Educational Television network -- play in educating our people across the country. His sponsorship of this legislation over the past three Congresses has provided great momentum for these programs that are so important to local communities. We would also like to thank the seven original co-sponsors of this year’s Ready To Compete Act—Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Andre Carson (D-IN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Bill Owens (D-NY), Jared Polis (D-CO), Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA). We look forward to working with Congressman Yarmuth, these co-sponsors and the entire Congress on a bipartisan basis as this important bill moves forward through the legislative process.”
Shae Hopkins, executive director of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), added: “Our competitive, global economy demands a workforce with more technical knowledge and skills, yet millions of Americans’ educational attainment falls short of a high school diploma. Public media is a leader in providing accessible educational opportunity for the American people through proven resources such as KET’s GED Connection and Workplace Essential Skills series. Ready To Compete will help address the needs of adult learners and help ensure that they have the knowledge and skills necessary for today’s workforce.”
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.