Biden administration proposes $575M for CPB in FY2026, requests level funding for interconnection and infrastructure

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President Joe Biden’s budget request for fiscal year 2024 proposes a $40 million increase to CPB’s federal appropriation.

Biden’s budget includes a $575 million request for CPB for FY2026. The federal government’s latest budget signed earlier this year included $535 million for CPB in FY25. CPB’s base appropriation is funded two years in advance of the annual federal budget process.

“We are grateful for the President’s budget request, which provides meaningful support for public media, affirming its essential role in strengthening our nation’s civil society,” said CPB President Pat Harrison in a news release. “The federal appropriation ensures universal access to free, high-quality, innovative, and diverse content that educates and enriches the public dialogue.”

Biden’s proposed budget includes level funding at $60 million for public broadcasting’s interconnection system and infrastructure for FY24. Those funds jumped to $60 million this year after being stuck at $20 million for half a decade.

In her statement, Harrison said she further appreciated the Biden administration’s “recognition of the importance of modernizing and maintaining public media’s interconnection system and investing in shared infrastructure that will benefit all stations, and ultimately the American people.” She said the $60 million in funding, if approved, “will continue necessary investments in the infrastructure that disseminates content across the public media system, including public safety and alerting messages, and will ensure current investments in digital technologies realize their full capacities.”

The proposed budget would also provide level funding of $31 million in FY24 for Ready To Learn, the Department of Education grant program that funds public television educational content, research and community outreach for educators.

Separately, CPB is requesting that Congress provide $56 million for the Next Generation Warning System at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA funding was first approved in FY22 at $40 million and increased to $56 million in FY23.

Pat Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations, said in a statement that the organization remains “hopeful that Congress will include level funding” for the NGWS. 

“This funding would support the local public media station infrastructure that the nation depends on to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to every part of the country,” Butler said. “Public broadcasting stations reach 99% of the American people, making us an essential part of the national alert and warning system.”

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