Trump budget threatens to eliminate PBS funding

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Sunday, March 19, 2017
Trump budget threatens to eliminate PBS funding
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Federal funding for PBS, which produces shows like "Sesame Street," would be slashed under President Trump's budget proposal.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- This year marks the 50th anniversary of PBS, which brought us everything from "Sesame Street" to "Downton Abbey."

But President Donald Trump's new budget proposal threatens the public network. He has proposed ending federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund many PBS programs. His budget would eliminate $740 million from the CPB, as well as the national endowments for the arts and humanities.

"It will have immediate, drastic effects and ultimately catastrophic effects on the PBS system," said Andrew Russell, CEO/president of PBS SoCal.

PBS supporters say the network provides more than just television shows. It also helps educate young children and prepare them for kindergarten.

The Ready to Learn program, for example, serves 1 million kids under age 5. It teaches them basic skills in math, literacy and social development. In many cases it helps kids who aren't able to attend preschool with being prepared for kindergarten.

PBS has nearly 350 member stations. The broadcasting corporation is asking supporters to call and write members of Congress urging them not to take away federal funding.