Funding for Children's TV Endowment Called Paltry

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Washington--The new National Endowment for Children's Educational Television holds promise for improving children's programming, but it is hampered by a serious lack of funding, participants at a colloquium here agreed last week.

The endowment, created by the Children's Television Act of 1990, will provide funding for educational programming that must appear first on public television before being made available to commercial stations.

Several prominent broadcasters agreed at a panel discussion here that the establishment of the endowment, which is to include an advisory council on children's television, creates a much-needed advocate at the federal level for better educational programming.

"This will provide leadership, focus, and direction for children's education4al television," Jennifer Lawson, the chief programmer for the Public Broadcasting Service, said at the session, organized by the Annenberg Washington Program of Northwestern University and the American Children's Television Festival.

"This endowment will raise the political importance of children's television," added Gary Knell, vice president of the Children's Television Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street" and other educational programming.

Panelists agreed that the $6 million authorized for the endowment for the next two fiscal years--$2 million in 1991 and $4 million in 1992--was a paltry sum in terms of producing television programs today.

"Two to four million dollars doesn't go a long way," said Ms. Lawson, who would use the first $2 million for research on how children learn from television.

Phyllis Tucker Vinson, executive producer for NBC Productions and the former head of children's programming for the network, called for funding several pilot TV programs, then deciding on a single series that works best to educate children.

Robert Keeshan, for 35 years known to viewers as "Captain Kangaroo" and an outspoken advocate for children's TV, proposed that some of the money be used to develop materials to help parents guide their children's television viewing.

He said the new law is flawed because it requires that programming funded by the endowment not be interrupted by advertisements when used by commercial stations. That provision ignores the market realities of commercial TV, he said.

However, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who will administer the endowment, can alter that requirement, Mr. Keeshan noted.

Vol. 10, Issue 15

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >