The Florida Board of Education, which has purview over public broadcasting, has made it official: For the first time in 35 years, the state will not provide funding for the 26 stations, “throwing the future of state-funded public broadcasting into question,” according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. The board approved a budget list in line with Gov. Rick Scott’s veto in May of $4.8 million the Legislature had previously provided to public broadcasting.
The Florida Public Broadcasting Service said in a statement to Current: “Florida’s public broadcasting stations make important contributions to education. Our children’s programs are standards-based and have proven value in getting kids ready for school. We train Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) providers and others who work in early childhood. And we provide PBS education resources to classrooms across the state. All for free. Several Board of Education members did not know that, and expressed interest in learning more. We hope that, as Board members and legislators gain a better understanding of our educational services, they’ll see the value in state funding for public broadcasting.”