The themes of competitiveness, innovation and the need for strong education in science and mathematics run through the Administration's FY 2007 budget request to Congress. Within the Department of Education budget request, some new and some existing programs have been pulled together into a $380 million "Preparing America's Students for Global Competition" program, with a major focus on mathematics, as part of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative. Meanwhile, the Education Department's Mathematics and Science Partnership program to improve science and math education would receive flat funding at its FY 2006 level.
At NSF, total funding for the Education and Human Resources Directorate would grow slightly under the FY 2007 request. Several changes would be made to division titles and content, with some divisions being combined. Funding for NSF's Math and Science Partnership program would be reduced, with no money provided for new awards, and would be incorporated into the Undergraduate Education Division.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The FY 2007 budget request for the Department of Education "will enable us to continue to deliver results for all children under ‘No Child Left Behind,' and it tackles our vital priority to improve our global competitiveness by targeting achievement in math and science," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in a departmental press release. She stated that "cementing our status as a world leader in innovation requires stronger, earlier math and science instruction, rigorous coursework throughout a student's career and particularly in the crucial stage of high school, and the understanding of the world that starts with mastering a foreign language."
MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE PARTNERSHIPS: The request would provide flat funding at $182.2 million. Education Department budget documents state that this program "provides State formula grants to help States and localities improve students' academic achievement in mathematics and science. The program promotes strong teaching skills for elementary and secondary school teachers, including integrating teaching methods based on scientifically based research and technology into the curriculum. Partnerships focus on developing rigorous mathematics and science curricula, distance learning programs, and incentives to recruit college graduates with degrees in math and science into the teaching profession." Additional state grants for improving teacher quality in all fields would also receive flat funding, at $2,887.4 million.
PREPARING AMERICA'S STUDENTS FOR GLOBAL COMPETITION: $380.0 million was requested for this program which would focus primarily on improving teaching and learning in mathematics, in support of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative. The components of this effort are as follows:
$125 million for the "Math Now for Elementary School Students" program; $125 million for a new "Math Now for Middle School Students" program; $10 million for "a National Mathematics Panel to identify key mathematics content and instructional principles;" $5 million for a program to evaluate and coordinate federal math and science education programs; an increase of $90 million to "Advanced Placement to train 70,000 additional teachers for math, science and foreign language AP-IB courses" and increase successful student participation; and $25 million "for the Adjunct Teacher Corps to encourage qualified professionals to teach high school courses with an emphasis on math and science."
More detailed information on the Education Department's FY 2007 request can be found at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget07/index.html.
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
NSF's Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate would experience an overall increase of 2.5% or $19.6 million, to $816.2 million, under the FY 2007 EHR request. The request cites a number of program changes within EHR. The Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education division and the Research, Evaluation and Communication division would be combined into a single "Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings" division, with total funding for the combined programs declining slightly. The NSF Math and Science Partnerships would be cut by 27.2% or $17.2 million, to $46.0 million, with no support for new awards, and would be incorporated into the Undergraduate Education division. Human Resources Development would see the largest budget increase of the divisions. Brief highlights of the EHR request follow. For more details on the EHR request and the program changes, go to the NSF budget web site at http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2007/toc.jsp and scroll down under "Directorate Summaries" to Education and Human Resources.
RESEARCH ON LEARNING IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL SETTINGS: Down 0.1% or $0.2 million, to $215.0 million.
UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: Down 7.0% or $14.9 million, to $196.8 million.
GRADUATE EDUCATION: Up 4.9% or $7.6 million, to $160.6 million.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: Up 21.8% or $25.8 million, to $143.9 million.
EPSCoR: Up 1.3% or $1.3 million, to $100.0 million.