Federal Funding for Public Broadcasting: Enhancing Children’s Lives Through Quality TV

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This week, Congress will take a critical vote to eliminate all federal support for public broadcasting.

If you read my post about Jeannine Harvey last week, you know how amazing the people behind the scenes are. If you've ever watched Sesame Street, Nova, Frontline, Curious George, Martha Speaks, Electric Company, you know what amazing shows they are. If you've ever visited PBSParents or PBSKids, you know what amazing content they offer to help parents and educators. You know public broadcasting is a tremendous resource we can't afford to lose.

Now, federal funding does not make up 100% of your local PBS station's funding. In fact, according to this chart, from 170MillionAmericans.org, it's not even that big of a chunk.  But, federal funding is the “lifeblood” of public broadcasting, providing critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations, which then leverage each $1 of federal funding to raise over $6 from local sources—a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment. Federal funding provides the margin of revenue needed by local stations to produce quality local programs and to make a market for national producers.

Federal funding provides essential support for public broadcasting’s mission to ensure universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens, and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and minorities. Rural public broadcasting stations are even more reliant on federal funding than urban stations, and many would be forced to dramatically cut programming or go off the air if federal funds were cut.

So, if you support federal funding for public broadcasting, take a few minutes to go to 170MillionAmericans.org to voice your opinion about this proposed cut to your elected representatives. This is part of a grassroots effort implemented by the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) for fans of public broadcasting to have a voice in telling Congress what they think of proposed cuts. This is democracy in action, people.

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