President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2013 budget Monday (Feb. 13), which contains $445 million in advance funding for fiscal 2015 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He also proposes consolidating pubTV’s Ready to Learn, an ongoing funder of PBS Kids programming, with other education efforts, and wants to zero out the $3 million Rural Utilities Service Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program, which provides capital funding to stations. The budget slightly boosts, from $1.501 billion to $1.576 billion, funding to cultural organizations that support pubcasting, including the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
“We are grateful to the president for providing level funding for CPB and for continuing the advance funding mechanism so important to our stations and producers,” said Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, in a statement. “Public television did not expect immunity from the budget cuts that been required across the government, and the overall federal investment in public television has been reduced by more than 10 percent in the past two years. Within these necessary constraints, we will continue working toward our goal of a well-educated, well-informed, cultured and civil society, and again we are most grateful for the Administration’s endorsement of our work.”
Patricia Harrison, president of CPB, said in a statement, “The president’s request reflects the value of public media’s in-depth news reporting, our commitment to children, and initiatives such as American Graduate, which focuses on public media’s core value of education. The request also reflects the unique and powerful service that public media provides for free to listeners and viewers.We appreciate the president’s support. His request reaffirms that federal funding for public media is a vital investment — one that continues to deliver proven value and service to our country.”
The entire budget may be accessed online at the Office of Management and Budget website.