Valley Educators to Lose Some Public Broadcasting Resources

By: Karen Campbell Email
By: Karen Campbell Email

Educational programs offered by public broadcasting stations will soon be limited because of budget cuts.

This week, Gov. Bob McDonnell made one line-item veto, eliminating Budget Item 123.

The veto reduces state funding of public television and public radio stations by $424,001 for fiscal year 2012.

Sheila Atonnicola, a teacher at Harrisonburg High School, says, now that WVPT is losing some of its funding, she won't have the same variety of public broadcasting videos to use for her English class.

"The number of choices has gone down and once the copyright goes out, we can't keep them," says Antonnicola.

She says she's even tried to find similar videos on YouTube but was unsuccessful.

"The films that we were able to get through the public broadcasting and WVPT have been really helpful because they are different," adds Antonnicola.

Debbie Witman, a librarian at Harrisonburg High, says she used to be able to record a variety of programs that touched on different subjects, like history or math.

"They come with programs that are 15 or 20 minutes sometimes in length, so they can use a short piece in the classroom," explains Witman.

She says WVPT also provides free professional development.

"It is something that has been very valuable and I don't know how much of that will be cut," comments Witman.

Antonnicola says teachers will make do.

"We still have a wealth of information and materials in the library and we can outsource other teachers," says Antonnicola


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