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Congress Proposes $50M Boost to Public Broadcasting Funding

(Image credit: CPB)

WASHINGTON—The House Appropriations Committee has officially proposed $515 million in advanced funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting in Fiscal Year 2023, which would represent a $50 million increase from the $465 million in funding it received in 2020.

The proposal is included in the FY 2021 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

In addition to the increase for FY 2023, the proposal has recommended level funding of $20 million in FY 2021 for station interconnection, what American Public Television Stations (APTS)—which provided the proposal details via a press release—calls “the backbone of the public broadcasting system.”

The proposal also would commit $30 million in FY 2021 to Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports public television’s work in early childhood education. 

In addition to education, which public broadcast stations took on an increase role in during the COVID-19 pandemic with remote learning, public broadcasting funds also help with public safety services and providing platforms for state governments to produce programming regarding local affairs, elections and history, according to APTS.

“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,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS.

“We are encouraged that this bipartisan congressional support continues to grow year by year, and we will do our best to earn this support every day in service to America’s communities,” Butler added.