DOE Maintains Ready To Learn Funding

The Department of Education has decided to maintain funding for the Ready To Learn project, a noncommercial TV effort to help younger kids, especially in low-income areas, better prepare for school with fundamental reading and math skills. 

The continuing resolution budget bill that passed last month preserved the $27.3 million for the program, but it was still up to DOE to decide to continue to seek the funding, which it did last Friday in its final FY 2011 spending report to Congress, according the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

"Funding for Ready To Learn will ensure the next generation of children have access to engaging learning experiences that will prepare them for success in school and in life," said CPB President Patricia Harrison. 

"We are tremendously grateful to the Administration, the Department of Education and Members of Congress for their investment in this initiative," said Public Broadcasting Service President Paula Kerger.

"We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Duncan and President Obama for continuing to value public television's educational programming and services by funding Ready To Learn," said Patrick Butler, president of the Associatin of Public Television stations, which lobbied hard to retain that and other noncom funding. "The inclusion of this funding during the challenging budget climate underscores the importance of Ready To Learn. Local public television stations across the country use the programs' television content and cutting-edge technologies, through on-line resources and games, as well as on-the-ground outreach, to reach the most underserved families in their local communities," he said.

Ready To Learn has frequently been in Republican budget-cutter's sights, but remade itself into a more curriculum-based program partially in response to its critics..

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.