State Rep. Mike Sturla

Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee

State Rep. Dave Reed


Chairman, Republican Policy Committee



House Policy committees explore role of public broadcasting

in childhood education at joint hearing


PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20 – The House Democratic and Republican Policy committees held a joint hearing today at WQED in Pittsburgh to explore the role public broadcasting plays in the education of Pennsylvania’s children.

State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Randy Vulakovich, R-Allegheny, served as co-chairmen.


Frankel said: "As a board member of WQED, I obviously believe in the importance of public television. But I’m not the best person to attest to its value. The people who give the best testimony are the millions of fans of Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer and, of course, Pittsburgh’s own Mister Rogers. Children who love -- and learn from -- public television, are the ones who need us and especially the federal government to make sure that these programs are sustained."


"Providing children with learning opportunities is important to their development and educational growth," Vulakovich said. "Today's hearing provided us all with some good insight into how public television opens new doors to learning and I think the individuals who drive this effort should be commended for their focus on Pennsylvania's kids."


House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, added: "Public broadcasting programs like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood have played an invaluable part in the lives of children around the country for generations. Pittsburgh’s own WQED has the unique distinction of being one of the first public television stations in the United States, and has been sparking an intellectual curiosity in children for over 50 years."


Those testifying at the hearing included Jennifer Stancil, executive director of Educational Partnerships, WQED Multimedia; Margaret Mary Kimmel, Ph.D., professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh; Hedda Sharapan, director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Fred Rogers Co.; Miranda Barry, executive vice president of Content, Sesame Workshop; Angela Santomero, Ph.D., founding partner and chief creative officer, Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC; Monique McIntosh, director of Teen Services, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh; Sarah McCluan, communication services supervisor, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3; Pam Cornell, professional development manager, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3; and Aleina Smith, LIFT program director, Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania.


For more information about the House Democratic Policy Committee, visit


For more information about the House Republican Policy Committee, visit