Representatives Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) are seeking their colleagues' signatures on a letter requesting at least $450 million in funding for the Department of Education's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program in the FY 2008 appropriations process. This is the originally-authorized funding level for the Education Department's MSP program, but the program has never received even half of that amount (the FY08 request is $182.1 million, equal to the FY07 request and the FY06 funding level).
Federal efforts to improve science and math education would receive a boost under President Bush's FY 2008 budget request, as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative. All divisions within NSF's Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate would receive increases compared with the FY 2007 request. Funding for certain math and science education programs within the Department of Education (DoEd) would also be increased. However, the request for the Math and Science Partnership programs within both NSF and DoEd are equal to the FY 2007 requests.
On July 31, Congress sent The Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 4137) to the President’s desk. Ten years after the last Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization, five years after legislators sat down to write another reauthorization, and after eight temporary extensions this year, the President has signed the overhaul into law. Some highlights of the 400-plus page law include:
There are several Department of Education programs in the Senate FY 2009 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that target science and math. Senate appropriators provided level funding for the Math and Science Partnerships, Minority Science and Engineering Improvement, and BA degrees in STEM and Critical Foreign Languages. S. 3230 included new money for Advanced Placement programs, but does not have funding for the proposed Math Now initiative.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 3288), signed by President Obama on December 16, contains funding for the Department of Education. Figures for programs listed below are rounded.
OFFICE OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Education for the Disadvantaged School Improvement Grants- FY 2009 appropriation: $545.6 million FY 2010 request: $1,545.6 million, an increase of $1 billion, or 183 percent FY 2010 appropriation: $545.6 million
The House approved the Fiscal Year 2010 budget for the Department of Education on July 24, sending the engrossed bill to the Senate for action this week.
The House would fund the Department of Education’s various discretionary programs at nearly $65 billion, more than $1 billion higher than FY 2009, but about $18 million less than the Administration’s request. This number is buoyed by more than $98 million made available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for education services.
President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget recommends $46.7 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Education, a $1.3 billion increase over FY 2009.
Elementary and secondary education programs would receive $38.3 billion for FY 2010 an increase of $700 million over FY 2009. Postsecondary education programs would be increased from $3.4 billion in FY 2009 to $3.6 billion in FY 2010.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the budget proposal “an investment in reforms that work.”
One of the many issues Congress must deal with when it returns to Washington next week is the FY 2011 request by the Obama Administration to restart the production of Pu-238, the fuel used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators in deep space probes. After last year’s rejection by Congress of the request to fund the production of this isotope in the Department of Energy appropriations bill, the Administration has now proposed that the $30 million needed to start this process be equally divided between DOE and NASA.