WASHINGTON—The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is seeing green this holiday season, but not the Christmas tree—more like cash in the expected form of a $20 million increase in funding for the 2020 fiscal year.
The House and Senate have negotiated the $20 million increase—the first funding increase the organization has seen in 10 years—with the House formally approving it in the appropriations bill for FY2020. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the funding package later this week.
With the increase, the CPB’s funding will increase from $445 million in recent years to $465 million.
“America’s Public Television Stations are grateful for this increase, which will begin to restore the nearly $100 million in purchasing power public broadcasting has lost in a decade of frozen funding,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS.
“While we have appreciated the steady funding through 10 years of budgetary austerity, we have been under increasing pressure to do more with less in recent years. Technology, viewer habits and our public service missions have changed dramatically during this time, and this increase in funding to $465 million will enable local public television stations to educate more children, protect more lives and property, and equip more well-informed citizens with the tools they need to guide the world’s most important democracy,” Butler added.
In addition, APTS says that the legislation will provide $20 million in funding for the public media interconnection systems that support public safety and homeland security missions and deliver national programs to rural and remote audiences. There was also an increase of more than $1.2 million, for a total of $29 million, for the FY 2020 Ready to Learn program, a Department of Education grant program that supports the creation of public TV’s early childhood educational content.
“The broad support for public media funding among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress reflects the overwhelming support the American people have for local public television stations’ service in communities across the country, and we couldn’t be more proud of this vote of enhanced confidence in our work,” said Butler.