WASHINGTON, D.C.—America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) has issued a statement commending the U.S. Senate for approving the $1.7 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2023 omnibus appropriations package that includes a record $682 million federal investment in public media.
The bill must still be passed by the U.S. House.
“America’s Public Television Stations are enormously grateful for this bipartisan congressional support of a growing public investment in our work and for the Congress’s recognition of the critical role our local stations play in their communities,” said Patrick Butler, APTS president and CEO.
This package includes:
- $535 million for CPB’s two-year advance funding in FY 2025 – a $10 million increase.
- $60 million for Interconnection – a $40 million increase.
- $31 million for Ready To Learn – a $500,000 increase.
- $56 million for the second year of funding of the Next Generation Warning System – a $16 million increase.
“The $10 million increase for CPB in this bill will help restore some of the $100 million in purchasing power public broadcasting lost over 10 years of flat federal funding — and with it our ability to continue strengthening the educational services, the public safety communications, the civic literacy and the beloved programming which make public television such an essential part of the lives of millions of Americans,” Butler said.
“We are also very pleased that this bill recommends an appropriation of $56 million for public broadcasting’s Next Generation Warning System for fiscal year 2023,” Butler continued. “Public broadcasting provides a critical communications infrastructure for emergency alerting and has active and growing partnerships with the public safety community at the local, State and federal levels. Reliable and resilient public broadcasting infrastructure is crucial to the success of this public safety mission.”
“We are also thankful for the $60 million in FY 2023 for station interconnection, 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 said. “This $40 million increase would also support important system-wide digital infrastructure initiatives in cybersecurity, content delivery networks and data management, among others.”
“And we are appreciative of the $31 million investment, a $500,000 increase, for Ready To Learn,” he added. “This competitive grant program at the Department of Education supports public television’s essential work — on-air, online and on-the-ground — in early childhood education, to help build science, math and literacy skills of children between the ages of two and eight. Public television content created through Ready To Learn grants has been proven to help close the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers.”