Bush Proposes “Zeroing Out” Public Broadcasting Funding

The Bush administration wants to hack federal funding for public broadcasting by more than 50% and possibly zero out the budget in as little as two years.

Variety 02/04/08 (Thanks to ArtsJournal)

Public Broadcasters Vow To Fight Proposed Bush Cuts

“Under Bush’s plan, the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, a private nonprofit that distributes the funds to local stations, would lose $420 million of the $820 million in federal funds it was set to receive over the next two years. In addition, the White House budget does not include advance funding for the 2011 fiscal year.”

Los Angeles Times 02/05/08 (Thanks to ArtsJournal)

Here’s how the Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group, sees it:

President Bush today sent his FY 2009 budget request to Congress, beginning the yearly appropriations process for, among many things, the nation’s cultural agencies and programs. Because drastic cuts are being proposed for some key arts programs, we urge you to write your Members of Congress and tell them to reject the President’s budget cuts.

On the heels of signing the largest Congressionally-initiated funding increase for the arts in 28 years, President Bush has proposed a senseless $16.3 million cut for FY 2009 for the NEA—from $144.7 million to $128.4 million. After three years of minimal, but incremental, funding growth, we are surprised to see an attempt to erase this progress.

For the eighth consecutive year, the President’s budget has eliminated funding for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs, which include funding for model arts programs and collaborations with schools, teacher professional development, and arts programs for at-risk youth. Arts literacy is as central to an educated citizenry as are reading, math, and science. The Administration needs to understand the role of arts education in developing an innovative and creative society.

Also, the FY 2009 budget request calls for a rescission of $200 million in already-approved funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). As a trusted community resource, CPB uses the power of noncommercial television and radio to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services.

The President also asked for a slight cut to the NEH, from $144.7 to $144.3 million. Finally, and on a positive note, the President requested a funding boost of over $8 million for the Office of Museum Services, bringing the amount of funding available for grants to almost $40 million. A breakdown of the President’s budget request is as follows:

National Endowment for the Arts

FY08 Enacted Appropriations (in millions): $144.7

FY09 President’s Budget Request (in millions) $128.4

National Endowment for the Humanities

FY08 $144.7

FY 09 $144.3

Office of Museum Services within IMLS

FY08 $31.3

FY 09 $39.9

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Arts in Ed

FY08 $35.3

FY 09 $0

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

FY08 $400

FY 09 $200