Education Blog

Public Media Threatened By Proposed Zeroing Out of Federal Funding

Elmo character talking on telephone.

President Trump’s proposed budget eliminates all federal funding for public broadcasting and threatens the collapse of the entire system. The good news is PBS ranks high as a trusted and valued public institution by the American people.  Speaking with your member of Congress about why you value public media could help save the system.

Perhaps it is the children’s programming that you value. Parents of young children rank PBS KIDS as the most trusted and relied upon media brand for school readiness. Teachers value PBS, too.  They use PBS LearningMedia to help teach an estimated 40 million students nationwide.  Or maybe you rely on the research-tested apps that help children ages 2-8 engage with math, science, reading, technology and art.

Each month, nearly 100 million people watch their local PBS station. For tens of thousands of residents of central Illinois, Illinois Public Media (WILL-TV, WILL-FM and WILL-AM) is your local PBS and NPR station. 


About 24% of Illinois Public Media’s budget comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) , a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

Congress funds CPB and then CPB distributes more than 70% of this federal funding to nearly 1,500 locally-owned-and-operated public radio and television stations.

We use our federal funding to bring you the national children’s programming your kids love as well as other Emmy-award winning programs including NOVA, AMERICAN MASTERS, MASTERPIECE, or FRONTLINE

Federal funding also supports local programming and services. At Illinois Public Media, we bring you The 21st, a daily radio talk show hosted by Niala Boodhoo featuring news, culture and stories that matter to Illinois; Illinois Public Media News, in-depth reporting from regional journalists and NPR; Classic Mornings, locally-selected and hosted classical music from Vic DI Geronimo; Mid-American Gardener, a live call-in program for gardeners across Mid-America hosted by Dianne Noland; ARTS BTS, a behind-the-scenes look at creative minds throughout central Illinois; and The Book Mentor Project, a multi-media literacy program in all Head Start classrooms in Champaign County that supports children’s math and reading literacy and distributes more than 8,000 books to 700 children annually.  In addition to these regular programs, we bring you seasonal programs and services throughout the year.


Historically, annual federal funding for CPB has been in the $445 million range or about $1.35 per citizen per year. To learn more about how to preserve this funding, visit Protect My Public Media. And, if you are willing, we invite you to call your representative of Congress, as s/he will eventually vote on a bill that supports or eliminates funding for public media.

Phone numbers for three representatives in the WILL coverage area are listed below:

Rep. Rodney Davis in DC: 202-225-2371

Rep. Rodney Davis in Champaign: 217-403-4690

Rep. John Shimkus in DC: 202-225-5271

Rep. John Shimkus in Danville: 217-446-0664

Rep. John Shimkus in Effingham: 217-347-7947

Rep. Darin LaHood in Bloomington: 309-205-9556

Rep. Darin LaHood in DC: 202-225-6201

If your representative is not listed here, you can search for their name and contact information using your address here.

Thank you.