WASHINGTON – September 27, 2011 – The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) commends Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) for introducing H.R. 3036, the Ready To Compete Act. This important legislation will help leverage public television’s enormous digital resources and partnerships to provide Americans of all ages with broadcast and online educational tools that will help make them more competitive in the changing workforce.
For over 40 years, public television has been a high-quality, trusted source for education and lifelong learning, and public television stations are serving educational institutions with even more resources in the digital age. As demands placed on schools, teachers, parents and students increase with stronger accountability and a national goal of improved student achievement, public broadcasting is ready to create innovative partnerships to meet an increasingly diverse and media-savvy student population.
From Pre-K to adult education, the Ready To Compete Act presents a comprehensive array of programs dedicated to serving learners of all ages. The bill reauthorizes public television’s premier education program, Ready To Learn, which uses the power of public television’s on-air and online educational content to build the math, science and reading skills of children between the ages of 2-8, targeted especially to those from low-income families and underserved communities. The extraordinary impact of this competitive grant program has been affirmed by more than 60 independent studies. In addition, this legislation would expand Ready To Learn’s impact by including the creation of content and resources for children age 9-13, if adequate funding is available.
The Ready To Compete Act also improves the broadly successful Ready To Learn program by embedding rigorous professional development for educators and caregivers to support the most effective use of this content.
Furthermore, Ready To Compete will address the growing needs of our nation by providing assistance to help adults get ready for work. This bill will create the Ready To Earn program, supporting the creation and dissemination of innovative educational digital content and services focused on GED preparation, adult literacy and workforce training skills.
“We are extremely grateful to Congressman Yarmuth for his unwavering support of public broadcasting’s educational mission and recognizing the important role local stations play in educating communities across the country,” said Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Public Television Stations. “His sponsorship of this legislation over the past two 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), Ben Chandler (D-KY), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Jared Polis (D-CO). We look forward to working with Congressman Yarmuth, these co-sponsors and the entire Congress as this important bill moves forward through the legislative process.”
“There’s no denying that a divide exists between the increasingly technical global workforce and the millions of Americans whose educational attainment fell short of a high school diploma,” said Shae Hopkins, executive director of Kentucky Educational Television. “However, we are confident we can help bridge that gap through the power of public media and 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.