Public Broadcasting: First Funding Bump In A Decade?


A House Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday recommended $495 million in advance funding for public broadcasting in fiscal year 2022, the first increase for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 10 years.

“America’s Public Television Stations are delighted that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies has recommended an appropriation of $495 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for Fiscal Year 2022,” said America’s Public Television Stations President/CEO Patrick Butler. “This increase of $50 million for CPB, the first increase in 10 years, will enable public broadcasting to educate more children, protect more lives and property, and enable more well-informed citizens to guide the world’s most important democracy.

“We are also appreciative that the subcommittee has recommended level funding of $20 million in FY 2020 for an annual interconnection and infrastructure account, which is the backbone of the public broadcasting system, supporting nationwide emergency alerting, providing local stations with national programming, connecting stations with each other, and creating operational efficiencies,” Butler added.

The federal investment in public broadcasting “is essential to local public television stations’ public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership, and to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, every day has access to these essential services for free,” he said. “No one but public television can educate the more than half of America’s children that do not attend preschool. No one but public television provides tens of thousands of interactive, curriculum-aligned digital learning objects — for free — to two million teachers educating 40 million K-12 students in American classrooms every day. No one but public television can communicate with the public to keep Americans safe during times of crisis while also partnering with first responders nationwide to provide datacasting capabilities that enhance public safety communications and response. And no one but public broadcasting can teach Americans of all ages about their country, their history, their culture, their world and their universe through thousands of hours of documentary and public affairs programming.

“The broad support for public media funding among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress reflects the overwhelming support of the American people for our service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this vote of confidence in our work,” Butler concluded.

Now, APTS awaits further word on funding for “Ready To Learn,” a competitive grant program at the Department of Education. The program creates and distributes educational media content to children across the U.S.