House Appropriations Committee approves increased Ready To Learn funding, $495M for CPB

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The House of Representatives Appropriation Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would increase funding for PBS’ Ready To Learn project to $30 million, a hike of more than $2 million over this fiscal year.

The bill also approves a House subcommittee’s recommendation to increase CPB funding by $50 million to $495 million in FY2022 and to maintain level funding of $20 million for public media interconnection and infrastructure. The added funding for CPB would be the first increase in 10 years.

Patrick Butler, CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, said in a press release that his organization is “especially pleased” with the increased funding for Ready To Learn to help “public television to enhance the successful national-local partnership that produces high-quality, curriculum-aligned national programming and enables local public television stations to make the most of that programming through engagement with community partners.”

The funding was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill, which passed the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee by a 30-23 vote.

The committee’s report on the bill said the committee “supports continued investment” in public broadcasting’s National Minority Consortia. It also encouraged public radio stations “to engage in public-private partnerships with state and local entities, including nonprofits” and called on CPB to include in its fiscal years 2021/2023 Congressional Budget Justification information “on how public private partnerships may be used to ensure continued access to public broadcasting in underserved areas.”

The bill will be considered by the full House later this year.

In March, President Trump proposed ending funding for public broadcasting in his draft budget.

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