Senate Passes Bill Helping Noncom Broadcasters

Provides funding for the Ready To Learn, Ready To Teach and fiscal stabilization

The omnibus appropriations bill that passed in the Senate
over the weekend contains some money to help noncommercial broadcasters through
a rough patch, and restores funding to the Ready To Learn/Teach program that
the President's budget would have axed, according to PBS.

The bill has already passed the House and just needs the President's signature.

The Corporation For Public Broadcasting got $445 million in funding for 2012--it has an advance funding mechanism to try and better insulate it from shifting political tides. 

But in addition, Congress has appropriated $25 million in "fiscal stabilization" funding to, in part, help preserve jobs and programs threatened by the current economy. According to a PBS spokesperson, that money will be paid out to TV and radio stations within 45 days of the bill's passage, according to the language of the law.

According to PBS, Congress has also set aside $27.3 million for Ready To Learn, which targets preschoolers in low-income areas; $10.7 million for Ready To Teach; and $25 million in "fiscal stabilization" funding to, in part, help preserve jobs and programs.

“PBS would also like to express its gratitude for the extraordinary $25 million appropriation provided to help stations cope with the severe economic consequences of this recession,” said PBS CEO Paula Kerger. “Clearly, Congress recognizes the value of public broadcasting and the important services it provides communities across the United States.”