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CPB Funding Stays Flat in Senate Draft Proposal

(Image credit: CPB)

WASHINGTON—The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended that the Corporation of Public Broadcasting be allotted $465 million in funds for Fiscal Year 2021 in its draft spending bill—the same amount it was provided in FY 2020. America’s Public Television Stations, however, would like to see a bit of an increase to that number.

APTS notes that the House of Representatives proposed a $50 million increase to CPB’s FY 2021 budget in July and hopes that will be included in the final appropriations package.

Still, APTS commended the Senate’s proposal to maintain level funding for CPB, particularly as stations deal with the pandemic. The organization also praised the Senate committee’s recommendation of $29 million for the Ready to Learn program and $20 million to continue investing in interconnection.

“Public television stations have dramatically demonstrated their essential role in public service this year, standing up remote learning services in all 50 states in response to the coronavirus pandemic and using our datacasting capability to provide educational resources to students without broadband connections,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS.

Butler said that public TV is ready to do more, including expanding public safety services, adopting the ATSC 3.0 next-gen standard and more investment into datacasting. “The greater the federal investment in this work, the more and better and faster we can do it,” he added.

More than 70% of funds committed to CPB go directly to local public TV and radio stations in the form of community service grants, according to APTS.