Victory: Congress Preserves Public Media Funding!

By Cait Beroza |

Victory: In a very challenging fiscal environment, Congress has continued funding for every public media program in its final Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations package!

Signed into law by the President, this action concludes the FY 2024 funding cycle. This achievement is a testament to the strength of our network’s collective congressional outreach and the public’s overwhelming support for public media funding.

Final Funding for Public Media in the FY 2024 Appropriations Package

The final FY 2024 appropriations package maintained level funding for:

  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a vital funding source for more than 1,500 public radio and television stations to provide local programs and services that inform, educate, and enrich communities across the country.
  • Interconnection, public media’s nationwide programming distribution network and the backbone of local, state, and national emergency alerts and warnings that reaches nearly 99% of U.S. residents.
  • Ready To Learn, a Department of Education grant program that invests in the development of research-based educational children’s media content and community outreach proven by more than 100 studies to enhance math, science, and literacy skills ins children ages 2-8, particularly those from low-income families.

Unfortunately, the Next Generation Warning System (NGWS), a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program for updating and upgrading station emergency alert and warning infrastructure and equipment, incurred a 28% cut in the approved package. However, we will advocate boosting FY 2025 funding for this important program that enhances public safety nationwide.

Preserving Public Media Funding: A Long, Hard-Fought Effort

This outcome is a significant win for public media. Public radio and television supporters tirelessly advocated for continued public media funding for more than 15 months. And the challenges were substantial. Congress implemented tight budget caps, limiting the resources available for non-defense discretionary programs like public media, and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee proposed eliminating almost all public media funding.

A Message of Thanks to Our Public Media Advocates

As we celebrate this major achievement, we extend our thanks to every public media viewer and listener who contacted their Members of Congress in support of federal funding for public media.

Your support has been the driving force behind our success. It’s because of public media advocates like you that local stations can continue to serve their communities with essential, impactful programs and services.

What Happens Next?

Now that the FY 2024 appropriations process is over, we’ve started to build congressional support for public media’s FY 2025 funding requests. Recently, the President submitted his annual budget request to Congress, recommending a CPB funding increase, and maintaining resources for Interconnection, and Ready To Learn. His FY 2025 budget did not include NGWS funding, a relatively new program, but we’re committed to advocating for the continuation of this essential service and FEMA has listed it as a priority to continue, if funding is available.

You can advance public media’s FY 2025 funding requests by urging Congress to match the President’s budget proposals for public media. Send your message now.

Learn why the President’s budget proposal is vital for a stronger public media system by reading our blog.

Continued Public Media Funding Advocacy is Critical

These results show that with consistent congressional outreach and determination, public media funding can overcome any obstacle. With the ongoing support of viewers and listeners like you, we can build on this achievement and secure irreplaceable federal resources for local public media stations in the FY 2025 funding cycle.

Let’s keep advocating for public media, together.