PBS Statement on House Appropriations Subcommittee’s Proposed Funding for 2009 and 2011

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On June 19, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) approved the Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bill that provides funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which in turn provides federal support to both public television and public radio - equaling just over 15% of the revenue for American public broadcasting.

The legislation approved by the subcommittee this afternoon provides CPB a $430 million advance appropriation for FY 2011, as well as $40 million for digital conversion and $27 million for the public radio interconnection system for FY 2009. If enacted, the proposed advance appropriation for FY 2011 would represent a $10 million increase over the FY 2010 level. In addition, the bill provides $24 million in funding for Ready To Learn (RTL), which focuses heavily on developing programs and resources that help young children from underprivileged backgrounds build strong pre-reading and reading skills.

"PBS and its member stations thank the subcommittee for this extraordinary vote of confidence. The federal appropriation for public broadcasting represents essential seed money, and we leverage each dollar many times over through the public-private partnership that is at the core of public broadcasting to provide the American people with outstanding public affairs, performing arts and children's content on television and the Internet, as well as a host of important educational and community services. We appreciate this investment in the future of public media, and we look forward to continue working with our friends on Capitol Hill to serve the American people," said Paula A. Kerger, PBS's president and chief executive officer.

"Given the many demands on the federal budget, we know there are many difficult choices that Congress has to make during this process," said Andrew W. Givens, PBS Vice President, Government Relations. "To receive both advanced funding and a modest increase, given the current economic climate, is a tremendous opportunity, which we will use to provide the top-quality content and educational services the public expects from public broadcasting."

By law, the majority of CPB funds are directed to the locally owned and operated stations that comprise the public broadcasting system in this country. For some stations, especially those in rural areas where their services are particularly crucial, CPB revenue accounts for as much as 40% of their revenue.