$450 million for PBS? Money well spent

October 14, 2012

Sal D'Avella's letter on Mitt Romney's budget proposal proves once again that one can attack or defend any idea ("Move over, Big Bird," Oct. 11). Four-hundred-fifty million dollars could indeed hire a lot of teachers.

However, did Mr. D'Avella do any preliminary research to see if Sesame Street was an effective tool for educating children? Is this $450 million being well spent?

It took me only the time to log onto the Internet to find several arguments for the continuation of Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang. Here is just one of many reports from the Eric Education Information Center:

"The research studies reviewed in this report indicate that Sesame Street has had a significant positive impact on the pre-reading and school-readiness skills of children in the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel and Mexico."

Wow! All that for a mere $450 million. And what about all the kids who live in remote areas of the United States and the world without teachers? Good investment, I say.

The danger here is that so many of us look at only one side of the coin. This is not a time for bias or ignorance of the facts. Our future depends on intelligent thinking.

By the way, the $450 million cited is for all of public radio and television. So, more research.

John Holter, Baltimore

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