CPB ups federal funding request to $455M for FY21

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For the first time in four years, CPB is asking Congress for an increase in its federal appropriation.

CPB President Pat Harrison submitted the corporation’s request Thursday for $455 million for fiscal year 2021. That’s $10 million more than the level funding the corporation has requested annually since 2015. Public broadcasting’s outlay is forward-funded by two years.

The corporation received its full request of $445 million for FY20 in this year’s omnibus spending bill, signed into law by President Trump in March.

Public broadcasters also asked for $20 million in FY19 to support interconnection distribution infrastructure work, down from a $55 million ask for FY18. That dip reflects a change in timing for the request, transitioning from once every 10 years to annually. CPB received $20 million for FY18 in the omnibus bill.

CPB asked for $30 million for Ready To Learn in FY19, public television’s early-childhood learning initiative supported by the Department of Education. The corporation requested $30 million for FY18 and received $27.7 million.

In her written testimony, Harrison said that the federal money “provides crucial support to stations — particularly those serving rural, minority and other underserved communities — and enables innovation and technological advances.”

The president’s FY19 draft budget, released in February, proposes $15.5 million for CPB to shut itself down.

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