FY 2012 STEM Education Budget Request

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Publication date: 
17 February 2012

“Even as we find ways to cut spending, what we can’t do  is cut back on investments like education that will help us create jobs and  grow our economy.”  - President Barack  Obama

“In these tough budget times, the Obama Administration is  making a clear statement that high-quality education is absolutely critical to  rebuilding our economy.  If we want to  strengthen the American workforce, we must continue to invest in education.” -  US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

There are more than 100 federal science, technology,  engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs administered by  different government agencies.  The  Department of Education and the National Science Foundation administer much of  the funding for STEM education and thus are the subject of this FYI.


Department of Education Discretionary Funding  (non-Pell Grant): 


The Department of  Education STEM education programs are the following:     The Department’s funding includes $269 million for  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.  This includes $30 million for a new  evidence-based math education initiative that will be jointly administered with  a program at the National Science Foundation. 

The Effective  Teaching and Learning: Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics program     The President has also included $80 million in the budget  request for recruiting and preparing 100,000 high-quality STEM teachers over  the next ten years.  This program would  replace the current Mathematics and Science Partnership Program and would  support the transition to college- and career ready standards.  This program would help states improve  teaching and learning in STEM  fields and would be connected to the math-science partnership program at NSF.

Support for  Community Colleges     The budget includes a new initiative designed to improve  access to job training across the nation and provides $8 billion to the  Departments of Education and Labor to support state and community college  partnerships with businesses to build the skills of American workers.  Many of these partnerships are in STEM  areas. 

Race to the Top     The budget provides $850 million for this program that would  enable states to implement systematic reform in the following areas: rigorous  standards and assessment, using data to improve instruction and  decision-making, recruiting and retaining effective teachers and principals,  turning around low-performing schools, and improving state systems of early  learning and care.

Investing in  Innovation (i3)     The budget for this program is $150 million.  This program supports evidence-based  approaches that improve K-12 education and close achievement gaps, decrease  dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, and improve teacher and  school leader effectiveness.  A portion  of the i3 funds will also be used to support the development of breakthrough  learning technologies through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education. 

Advanced Research  Projects Agency – Education (ARPA-ED)     This new program is modeled on the successful Defense  Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Advanced Research Projects  Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).  Some of the  funding for this program would come from the School Improvement Grants, which  receives $534 million in the President’s budget. 

Career and  Technical Education Program     The President’s budget recommends reauthorization and  reform of the CTE program which is currently set to expire in 2013.  The $1.1 billion reauthorization proposal  would restructure CTE to align with 21st Century job needs and would  scale up career academies. 

The Department of Education full budget breakdown can be  found here.


National Science Foundation (NSF):

    The NSF has STEM education programs in multiple of its  directorates.  The funding broken down by  level of education is as follows:   

K-12 Programs: the budget request for FY 2013 is $262.8 million which is an increase of $18.2  million or 7.4 percent over FY 2012.

Undergraduate  Programs: the budget request for FY 2013 is $500.6 million which is an  increase of $16.8 million or 3.5 percent over FY 2012.

Graduate and  Professional Programs: the budget request for FY 2013 is $395.1 million  which is an increase of $ 21.5 million or 5.7 percent over FY 2012.

Outreach and  Informal Education Programs: the  budget request for FY 2013 was $56.21 million which is a decrease of $14.58  million or 20.6 percent over FY 2012. 

The primary division of NSF that is responsible for  supporting STEM education is the:

Directorate for  Education and Human Resources (EHR)     The funding request for EHR for FY 2013 is $875.6 million  which is an increase of $46.6 million or 5.6 percent over FY 2012.

The divisions of EHR are:

Division of  Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings: the funding request  for FY 2013 is $309.5 million which is an increase of $19.1 million or 6.6  percent over funding for FY 2012.

Division of Human  Resource Development: the funding request for FY 2013 is $134.6 million  which is an increase of $5.0 million or 3.9 percent over FY 2012.

Division of  Graduate Education: the funding request for FY 2013 is $184.8 million which  is an increase of $11.5 million or 6.7 percent over FY 2012.

Division of  Undergraduate Education: the funding request for FY 2013 is $246.6 million  which is an increase of $11.0 million or 4.7 percent over FY 2012. 

Some STEM programs to note:

The Transforming Undergrad Education in STEM (TUES)  received $61.4 million in the FY 2013 budget request which is an increase of  $22.0 million or 55.8 percent over FY 2012.

The Widening Implementation and Demonstration of  Evidence-based Reforms (WIDER) received $20.0 million in the FY 2013 budget  request which is an increase of $12.0 million or 150.0 percent over FY 2012 levels. 

The NSF full budget breakdown can be found here.

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