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CPB Welcomes Appropriations Bill

Funding for public broadcasting is often a contentious topic on Capitol Hill.

Funding for public broadcasting is often a contentious topic on Capitol Hill. But the Corporation for Public Broadcasting reacted positively to details in the newly unveiled omnibus federal spending bill.

The House Appropriations Committee unveiled the legislation, which will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year. CPB President/CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison said the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 would provide $445 million for CPB’s FY 2018 advance appropriation and $25.74 million for the Department of Education’s Ready To Learn program (both flat from last year) plus $40 million for upgrading and replacing the public broadcasting interconnection system.

“The legislation reaffirms that federal funding, an integral component of a public private partnership, in public media is a vital investment — one that continues to deliver proven value and service to all Americans,” she wrote.

The federal appropriation provides funding for 1,400 public television and radio stations. The legislation, CPB said, also “recognizes the imminent need to upgrade and replace the aging public broadcasting interconnection system, which serves as the content delivery system for all public media stations.”

Ready To Learn is a public media initiative to improve the math and literacy skills of learners ages 2–8 years, especially those who come from low-income backgrounds.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said the overall legislation includes policy items to stop waste and abuse, increase transparency and accountability at federal agencies, and halt “administrative overreach that hinders economic growth.”