Trump budget would eliminate federal funding to PBS, NPR

From $480 million to zero!

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)--  Under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would get nothing, no money for PBS and NPR.

Its funding would go from $480 million to zero.

The budget document describes the cuts as "an aggressive set of actions to redefine the proper role" of the federal government.

But those who support public broadcasting call these particular cuts a bad idea.

"It's unfortunate the administration is again looking to zero us out," said WHRO President and CEO Bert Schmidt. "We live in an era when we need trust in media. We need an informed community, and public media is consistently shown as the best place to get truly good information that keeps our citizens well informed. To not fund that is going against what the nation truly needs."

WHRO is owned by a consortium of 19 Hampton Roads public school districts.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said Norfolk School Board Chairman Rodney Jordan. "I think as citizens we have to push back."

Jordan says WHRO is a crucial partner.

"When we talk about these cuts, I think it's important that we recognize these are educational services from 12th grade on down. They're a foundation for professional development for our teachers, support for our early learners,  support for families, they support all kinds of additional academic programs that allow for students to go on and take advantage of their resources that tie to our standards of learning."

Schmidt says the cut would amount to around $1.3 million or ten percent of the budget for his station. With a membership base of 21,000 contributors, he remains upbeat things will work out.

"The American people love public media and it's reflected in Congress and we're quite hopeful Congress will do as they've done in the past, and continue to support public media," he said.

Second District Congressman Scott Taylor's office, in a statement to 13 News Now, said: "Rep. Taylor does not support that cut."

© 2018 WVEC-TV


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