Obama would keep CPB at $445 mil, end aid to rural pubTV

President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2013 budget Feb. 13, which, as expected, contains $445 million in advance funding for CPB in fiscal year 2015.

CPB has some chance of remaining at that level for four straight years. Congress appropriated $445 million for fiscal 2012 and 2013 as well, but those amounts are vulnerable to rescission, depending on the political winds. For fiscal 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate would repeat the same allotment while the Republican-controlled House would reduce it to zero.

The president proposed consolidating pubTV’s Ready to Learn program, an ongoing funder of PBS Kids content and outreach, with other education efforts and dropping the Agriculture Department’s $3 million Rural Utilities Service Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program, which provides capital funding to stations (Current, Jan. 30).

The budget also slightly boosts, from $1.501 billion to $1.576 billion, funding to cultural organizations that support pubcasting, including the arts and humanities endowments.

“We appreciate the president’s support,” said CPB President Patricia Harrison in a release. 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 budget is available online at whitehouse.gov/omb/budget.

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