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Local TV Stations Take on Remote Learning Needs

(Image credit: PBS)

WASHINGTON—Coronavirus has shifted education from schools to the home, and local TV stations across the country are helping to adapt to that new reality.

According to America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), a week ago there were seven local public stations that had announced remote learning partnerships with state and local education authorities. Now, stations in 25 states are offering some type of service.

States with stations taking part in this effort include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

APTS has detailed what each state and station is offering during this time to help with remote education.

“This is one of public television’s finest hours,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Working from home and without any financial resources budgeted for addressing a national emergency, public television stations in collaboration with PBS have stood up a broad range of standards-based, curriculum-aligned educational services to help students, teachers and parents continue the learning process under extraordinary circumstances.”

Butler says that some stations are committing their entire daytime schedules to age-appropriate educational programming. Online resources are also being made readily available during this time.

According to Butler, Congress is considering legislation to provide emergency funding to support the effort of these public stations. “[W]e hope our lawmaker will be as generous as possible in helping us help American people, for free, in this hour of special need,” Butler said.