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ATPS: Noncoms Step Up to Provide Distance Learning

Public TV stations are looking for some distance-learning dollars in a coronavirus stimulus package to help with their ongoing efforts to provide remote schooling for students without classrooms in the new social distancing reality.

It is a return to the roots of the noncom broadcasting system, which began life under the Educational Television Network (ETN) brand.

America's Public Television Stations said noncom stations in 25 states have joined in an effort to keep those millions of homebound kids hitting the virtual books.

“This is one of public television’s finest hours,” said Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of America’s Public Television Stations. “Working from home and without any financial resources budgeted for addressing a national emergency, local public television stations in collaboration with PBS have stood up a broad range of standards-based, curriculum-aligned educational services to help students, teachers and parents continue the learning process under extraordinary circumstances."

Butler thanked Congress for considering emergency funding for such efforts, adding "[W]e hope our lawmakers will be as generous as possible in helping us help the American people, for free, in this our of special need."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.