Ann: Like many homeschoolers, my kids rarely watched TV when young, but when they did, they thrived on Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and all the nature shows we could find. These days, I favor public radio programming. And I am a little ashamed to say I’ve always taken this quality public programming for granted.
So when I found the following message from Andrew Cotlar in my inbox today, I was stunned and disbelieving. Surely this was spam, I thought! I thought wrong. The quality television I’ve enjoyed and supported for most of my adult life is under attack.
Please read the following announcement and contact your Congressman today. Do it for your children. Do it in memory of Mr. Fred Rogers or Mr. Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets. Do it for yourself. Do it for your grandchildren. Do it for any reason at all.
Just do it. Thank you, Ann.
Action Alert – Direct Attack on Federal Funding for Public Broadcasting
Andrew Cotlar, Assistant General Counsel
Association of Public TV Stations
House appropriators have proposed more than $220 million in crippling funding cuts for public broadcasting in the new fiscal year. Proposed funding cuts as severe as these representing 45% of federal financial support are nothing less than a direct attack on the future of public television and radio. The proposed cuts constitute at least malicious wounding, if not the outright attempted murder of public broadcasting in America.
The Proposed Cuts
Proposed Rescission of FY 2006 CSG Funds: The most draconian cut proposed by House appropriators is the rescission of $100 million or 25% of the appropriation already made in 2004 to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for FY 2006.
Proposed Elimination of the Ready To Learn Program: In perhaps its most punitive move, House appropriators proposed eliminating all funding for Ready To Learn, a successful educational program that serves tens of millions of American kids. Ready To Learn consistently receives strong bipartisan support even the budget submitted by the Bush Administration recommended funding it at $23 million.
Even Deeper Funding Cuts Proposed: House appropriators continued their attack by proposing no new funding for digital infrastructure and interconnection programs, which combined received $79 million last year.
PTFP Under Attack: House appropriators proposed eliminating the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) a cut of another $21 million. PTFP, which has supported public broadcasting for 40 years, plays an indispensable role in providing matching money for infrastructure, which in turn delivers innovative new programs and services.
Every American who supports public television must join together to fight back. The political strength of local public television and radio stations, PBS and NPR lies in the support we receive from communities across the nation. In this time of danger, we need our supporters mobilized.
Call your Members of Congress to express your support and find out where they stand. Get your Members to commit to you that they will support public broadcasting.
Congress will respect your personal call much more than anything else we can do. Public broadcasting needs you to join the fight our future depends upon it.
Ann: I’ll be focusing on this important issue as it develops. This is a rare opportunity for homeschoolers to stand shoulder to shoulder with other supporters of public television and let our voices be heard. Let’s be the loud ones!
I am off to write to my Congressman, the Honorable Brian Baird, and find out what he has to say about this.