In their fiscal year 2019 spending bills, House and Senate appropriators again reject the Trump administration’s proposed deep cuts across federal programs that support STEM education, instead seeking at least steady funding for most.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have advanced a set of fiscal year 2019 spending bills that defend federal programs supporting STEM education from deep cuts proposed in the Trump administration’s budget request.
Appropriators intend to provide steady or increased funding for most STEM education programs at science-funding agencies as well as several Department of Education grant programs that states and districts can use to support STEM education activities.
Below is a summary of selected STEM education-related provisions in the appropriations committee reports that accompany the bills. A side-by-side comparison of the report language is provided at the end of this bulletin. Tables with program-level funding details and links to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee reports are available in FYI’s Federal Science Budget Tracker.
Department of Education
Education Innovation and Research. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each propose a double-digit percentage budget increase for the $120 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program, which supports the replication and scaling-up of evidence-based solutions to persistent challenges in education. Both proposals would still fall short of the administration’s requested $180 million. House appropriators specify a 21 percent increase to $145 million, while the Senate specifies a 13 percent increase to $135 million.
Within these amounts, the Senate report specifies $65 million for STEM activities and directs DOEd to coordinate with the National Science Foundation and other agencies to minimize duplication and build on the existing evidence base. While the House report does not include specific language on the funding level for STEM activities, it does note the increases will support a new “competition to promote innovation and reform in [STEM] education, including computer science.”
DOEd plans to channel all EIR funds allocated for STEM education into meeting the $200 million annual commitment to support STEM education directed by a memorandum President Trump issued last year. Congress specified $50 million in EIR funds for STEM and computer science education in fiscal year 2018.
Major state grant programs supporting STEM education. House and Senate appropriators reject the Trump administration’s request to eliminate funding for three major grant programs authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that states and districts use to support STEM education initiatives, among other activities.
The $1.1 billion Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) program, which can be used to support efforts such as improving STEM courses and establishing STEM-focused schools, is on track to receive a funding boost. The House and Senate propose 9 percent and 11 percent increases, respectively, building on the nearly tripling in funding provided in fiscal year 2018. However, the proposals fall short of the $1.6 billion authorized in the ESSA law for the program for fiscal year 2019.
Both committees would maintain level funding for the $2.1 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, which can be used to support educator professional development programs in STEM.
Funding would also remain steady for the $1.2 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which can be used to establish centers that provide STEM enrichment activities to students during non-school hours. This amount is $100 million above the level authorized by ESSA for the program.
Career and Technical Education. The Senate seeks to fund DOEd’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at the current level of $1.2 billion, while the House proposes a 10 percent increase. Congress and the administration have placed a growing emphasis on CTE programs to address skill gaps and shortages in jobs that do not require a four-year degree.
Within the proposed increases, the House provides the administration’s requested $13 million boost for national CTE programs and initiatives, currently funded at $7 million, which would support a new competitive grant program to expand CTE programs in STEM and computer science fields.
National Science Foundation
Senate appropriators propose a 1 percent increase for NSF’s $902 million Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR), while House appropriators would maintain funding at the current level.
Fellowships and scholarships. While the Trump administration has proposed to significantly cut funding for the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) and Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship programs, the Senate report pushes back, saying it “does not adopt” the cuts. The GRFP is NSF’s flagship fellowship program for graduate STEM students and the Noyce program provides support for STEM students and professionals to become teachers. The House report is silent on the subject.
Advanced Technological Education. The Senate report would maintain funding for the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program at $66 million, while the House report specifies that the program should be funded at no less than the current amount. The ATE program supports two-year CTE programs in high-demand science and engineering fields, and has been identified by the National Science Board as key to NSF’s efforts to address the needs of a growing U.S. STEM workforce.
The House Science Committee recently advanced a bill that would direct NSF to support new efforts focused on the “skilled technical workforce,” defined as “workers with high school diplomas and two-year technical training or certifications who employ significant levels of STEM knowledge in their jobs.”
Broadening participation programs. Both committees specify at least current funding levels for the $46 million Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program, $14 million Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, and $35 million Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program.
The Senate report provides the requested $20 million for the INCLUDES program, a cross-directorate initiative that aims to broaden participation in science and engineering. The House report does not weigh in on the program.
Hispanic-Serving Institutions. The Senate report specifies $30 million for the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) program, while the House report directs NSF to “fund the [HSI] grant program and demonstrate a $50 million investment” by the end of fiscal year 2019.
Office of Education. As in fiscal year 2018, House and Senate appropriators again reject the administration’s proposal to terminate NASA’s Office of Education. The Senate report proposes to increase its budget by 10 percent to $110 million and rename it “STEM Opportunities.”
It also directs NASA to conduct a review of the agency’s education efforts “in order to set NASA’s STEM activities on a path forward to take advantage of the positive impact NASA’s programs and missions have on the public.” As it did last year, the House proposes $90 million for the office.
Science Mission Directorate education activities. The House would maintain the current funding level of $44 million for education activities funded by the Science Mission Directorate, while the Senate would provide no less than the requested $45 million. The House report directs NASA to allocate the funds “proportionally” among the divisions, and the Senate report supports keeping the Astrophysics Division as the administrator of these directorate-wide funds.
Department of Energy
Office of Science Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists. Both committees reject the small decreases the administration has proposed for the Department of Energy Office of Science’s Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program, which manages the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship and the National Science Bowl programs. The House would maintain the program’s funding at $20 million while the Senate proposes a $4.5 million increase that would go to the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship and Graduate Student Research programs.
Nuclear security workforce program. The House proposes to increase funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Academic Alliances and Partnerships program, which supports activities to develop the next-generation nuclear security workforce, by 20 percent to $63 million. This increase is mostly due to the House moving a $9 million program that supports high energy density physics research and workforce development into this account from the Inertial Confinement Fusion program. The Senate would accept the request to maintain the program budget at $53 million. Both committees specify no less than $20 million for the Minority Serving Institution Partnerships program.
Department of Defense
National Defense Education Program. The committees diverge on funding for the $103 million National Defense Education Program, which supports opportunities for university student and researcher engagement with defense labs and technical staff. The House accepts the requested 17 percent decrease for the program. The Senate report, on the other hand, would nearly double funding for the program on the grounds that “the Nation’s global economic competitiveness and national security is dependent on a strong foundation in [STEM].”
Minority-serving institutions. The House proposes a slight increase for DOD’s programs supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving educational institutions to $40 million, while the Senate proposes a 19 percent cut.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
House and Senate appropriators again rebuff the administration’s request to eliminate NOAA’s $28 million Office of Education, as they did in fiscal year 2018. Both committees also flatly reject the proposed elimination of the $65 million National Sea Grant Program, with the House providing a $3.5 million increase and the Senate providing a $6 million increase.
The following expandable tabs offer side-by-side comparisons of language on STEM education-related provisions from the House and Senate appropriators' reports.
Department of Education
STEM education funding increases
Senate: The Committee recommendation includes $65,000,000, an increase of $15,000,000, in dedicated funding for STEM education, including computer science education, through the Education Innovation and Research program. This funding will expand access to high-quality STEM education for students, including students in rural schools, and build on the evidence-base of what works to improve student outcomes. In addition to this dedicated funding, several other programs, including formula grants to school districts through the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program, which is increased by $125,000,000, can also be used for STEM education activities.
Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants
House: The Committee recommends $1,200,000,000 for Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) State Grants, which is $100,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1,200,000,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) eliminated several narrowly-focused competitive grant programs and replaced them with this new formula grant program. States and school districts have flexibility to focus these resources on locally-determined priorities to provide students with access to a well-rounded education, including rigorous coursework, and to improve school conditions and the use of technology.
Senate: The Committee recommendation includes $1,225,000,000 for Student Support and Academic Enrichment [SSAE] Grants. This program provides formula grants to States, which then sub-grant to LEAs, to help support activities to provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, and use technology to improve instruction.
Education Innovation and Research
House: The Committee recommends $145,000,000 for the Education Innovation and Research program. This amount is $25,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $35,000,000 below the fiscal year 2019 budget request. This program makes competitive grants to support the replication and scaling-up of evidence-based education innovations. The funding will support a competition to promote innovation and reform in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, including computer science. Coupled with dedicated funding in the Career, Technical, and Adult Education account, this increase will help support the Administration’s commitment to STEM education.
Partnerships with Rural Schools.—The Department is encouraged to work with institutions of higher learning or other relevant stakeholders who can partner with rural school districts on STEM education, including efforts to bring ‘‘makerspace’’ opportunities to schools.
STEM and Computer Science Education.—The Committee notes that funds available under this program may be used by States and school districts to provide or strengthen instruction in STEM fields, including computer science. The Committee recognizes the importance of funding Pre K–12 computer science education that addresses the enrollment and achievement gap for underrepresented students such as minorities, girls, and youth from families living at or below the poverty line. Supporting education in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics fields, particularly computer science, is critical to ensure that our nation continues to lead in innovation. As computer science is a basic skill in the 21st century global economy, the Committee encourages the Department to support Pre K–12 computer science education to schools across the country.
Senate: The Committee recommendation includes $135,000,000 for the Education Innovation and Research [EIR] program. This program supports the creation, development, implementation, replication, and scaling up of evidence-based, field-initiated innovations designed to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students. EIR incorporates a tiered evidence framework that provides early-phase, mid-phase, and expansion and replication grants. This supports interventions throughout the pipeline, from smaller grants for early stage projects that are willing to undergo rigorous evaluation to test their efficacy to larger grants to scaleup proven-effective interventions that have demonstrated significant impacts through multiple rigorous evaluations.
Science, Technology, Education and Math [STEM] Education.— Within the total for EIR, the Committee recommendation includes $65,000,000 for STEM education activities, including computer science education. The Committee continues to direct the Department to work with other Federal agencies that issue grants in this area, including the National Science Foundation, to avoid duplication and ensure that activities funded under this program build on existing evidence or provide a unique benefit to the field. Further, within this amount, the Committee directs the Department to include funding to expand access to STEM education in rural areas, including grants to institutions of higher education, in partnership with rural school districts, to utilize virtual and remote access to makerspace technologies, such as 3D printers, to expand opportunities for students in rural areas where such tools are often cost prohibitive. Further, the Committee notes the importance of STEM knowledge and skills for individuals in and outside of the STEM workforce, including the workforce of national laboratories, for ensuring U.S. competitiveness globally. Finally, the Committee directs the Department to provide a briefing within 60 days of enactment to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the Department’s current and planned STEM education activities within EIR and across the Department.
Career and Technical Education
House: The Committee recommends $1,294,598,000 for Career and Technical Education: State Grants, which is $102,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $177,000,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. Funds are made available for obligation on October 1, 2019. State Grants support a variety of career and technical education programs developed in accordance with the State plan. This program focuses Federal resources on institutions with high concentrations of low-income students. The populations assisted by State Grants range from secondary students in pre-vocational courses to adults who need retraining to adapt to changing technological and labor markets. Funding for State Grants will continue support for state-of-the art career and technical training to approximately 6 million students in secondary schools and more than 4 million students in community and technical colleges.
The Committee recommends $20,000,000 for National Programs, which is $12,579,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and the same as the fiscal year 2019 budget request. This authority supports the conduct and dissemination of research in career and technical education. It also includes support for the National Centers for Research and Dissemination in Career and Technical Education and other discretionary research. The funding will support a competition to promote innovation and reform in STEM education, including computer science. Coupled with dedicated funding in the Education Innovation and Research account, this increase will help support the Administration’s commitment to STEM education.
Senate: The Committee recommends $1,200,019,000 for the Career and Technical Education [CTE] account.
State Grants.—The Committee recommends $1,192,598,000 for CTE State grants. Funds provided under the State grant program assist States, localities, and outlying areas to expand and improve their CTE program and help ensure equal access to CTE for populations with special needs. Persons assisted range from secondary students in prevocational courses through adults who need retraining to adapt to changing technological and labor market conditions. Funds are distributed according to a formula based on State population and State per capita income.
The Committee strongly encourages the Department to work with States, businesses, and other stakeholders to develop a report on the key elements of high quality CTE programs, including the barriers to developing or expanding high-quality CTE programs, how to strengthen the pipeline from CTE programs to available jobs, and how to raise students’ awareness of CTE opportunities.
National Programs.—The Committee recommends $7,421,000 to support research, development, demonstration, dissemination, evaluation, and assessment of activities aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of CTE.
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants
House: The Committee recommends $2,055,830,000 for Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, which is the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $2,055,830,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. These grants provide States and school districts with a flexible source of funding to strengthen the skills and knowledge of teachers, principals, and administrators to enable them to improve student achievement.
Senate: The Committee recommends $2,055,830,000 for Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants. States and LEAs may use funds for a range of activities related to the certification, recruitment, professional development, and support of teachers and administrators. Activities may include reforming teacher certification and licensure requirements, addressing alternative routes to State certification of teachers, recruiting teachers and principals, and implementing teacher mentoring systems, teacher testing, merit pay, and merit-based performance systems. These funds may also be used by districts to hire teachers to reduce class sizes.
The appropriation for this program primarily supports activities associated with the 2019–2020 academic year. Of the funds provided, $374,389,000 will become available on July 1, 2019, and $1,681,441,000 will become available on October 1, 2019. These funds will remain available for obligation through September 30, 2020.
21st Century Community Learning Centers
House: The Committee recommends $1,211,673,000 for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1,211,673,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. This program awards formula grants to States, which in turn distribute funds on a competitive basis to local school districts, nonprofit organizations, and other public entities. Funds may be used to provide activities that complement and reinforce the regular school-day program for participating students and may also fund local activities that are included as part of an expanded learning time program.
Senate: The Committee recommends an appropriation of $1,211,673,000 for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. Funds are allocated to States by formula, which in turn, award at least 95 percent of their allocations to LEAs, community-based organizations, and other public and private entities. Grantees use these resources to establish or expand community learning centers that provide activities offering significant extended learning opportunities, such as before- and after-school programs, recreational activities, drug and violence prevention, and family literacy programs for students and related services to their families. Centers must target their services to students who attend schools that are eligible to operate a school-wide program under title I of the ESEA or serve high percentages of students from low-income families.
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement
House: The Committee recommends $11,025,000 for the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, which is the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1,377,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. This program awards grants to improve mathematics, science, and engineering programs at institutions serving primarily minority students and to increase the number of minority students who pursue advanced degrees and careers in those fields.
Senate: The Committee recommends $11,268,000 for the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement program. Funds are used to provide discretionary grants to institutions with minority enrollments greater than 50 percent to purchase equipment, develop curricula, and support advanced faculty training. Grants are intended to improve science and engineering education programs and increase the number of minority students in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering.
Engineering and technical workforce
House: Developing Tomorrow’s Engineering and Technical Workforce.— The Committee recognizes the widespread interest in improving STEM education in elementary and secondary schools. Among the STEM topics, there is a relative small focus on engineering education and lack of a critical mass of teachers qualified to deliver engineering instruction. However, engineering is important in its application of scientific and mathematical principles to innovation, analysis, design, evaluation, and manufacture of machines, processes, and systems. Therefore, the Committee encourages the expansion of engineering initiatives to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools through public-private partnerships.
National Science Foundation
STEM education portfolio
House: NSF shall continue to award competitive, merit-reviewed grants to support STEM education as authorized by the STEM Education Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–59). In addition, the Committee expects NSF to provide grants for research about STEM education approaches and the STEM-related workforce in order to develop innovations in mentoring, training and apprenticeships.
Senate: The Education and Human Resources appropriation supports a comprehensive set of programs across all levels of education in STEM. The appropriation supports activities that unite school districts with institutions of higher learning to improve precollege education. Other precollege activities include the development of the next generation of STEM education leaders, instructional materials, and the STEM instructional workforce. Undergraduate activities support curriculum, laboratory, and instructional improvement; expand the STEM talent pool; attract STEM participants to teaching; augment advanced technological education at 2-year colleges; and develop dissemination tools. Graduate support is directed to research and teaching fellowships, internships, and instructional workforce improvement by linking precollege education systems with higher education. Programs also seek to broaden the participation of groups underrepresented in the STEM enterprise and promote informal science education.
Fellowships and scholarships
Senate: The Committee does not adopt the proposed funding reductions for the NSF Scholarships in STEM, Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, or the Graduate Research Fellowship and instead provides the fiscal year 2018 funding level for these programs.
Advanced Technological Education program
House: The recommendation provides no less than the fiscal year 2018 level for the ATE program.
Senate: The Committee provides $66,000,000 for Advanced Technological Education.
Informal science education program
Senate: The Committee maintains its strong support for NSF’s informal science education program and provides no less than $62,500,000 for Advancing Informal STEM Learning and $51,880,000 for STEM+C Partnerships. The Committee encourages NSF to coordinate and provide necessary support for investments in both in- and out-of-school time STEM education programs across Federal agencies, including support for extracurricular STEM programs. The Education and Human Resources directorate is further encouraged to continue its NSF-wide efforts to support informal STEM education programs, including leveraging the research directorates to support activities that match their respective content areas.
Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings
Senate: As part of the research funded through the DRL, the Committee recognizes the importance of out-of-school time STEM mentor-led engagement programs, including STEM networks, festivals, and competitions. Such programs are highly effective in filling the higher education STEM pipeline. The Committee urges NSF to focus on populations underrepresented in the STEM fields and encourages NSF to fund out-of-school time STEM engagement program activities.
Early childhood STEM education
House: The Committee urges NSF, in awarding grants under its Discovery Research PreK–12 program, to consider age distribution in order to more equitably allocate funding for research studies with a focus on early childhood.
Broadening participation programs
House: To broaden the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM education programs and, ultimately, the STEM workforce, the recommendation provides no less than $35,000,000 for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program; $46,000,000 for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation; $64,500,000 for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program; and $14,000,000 for the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program.
Senate: The Committee recommends $35,000,000 for the HBCUs Undergraduate Program, $8,000,000 for the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, $46,000,0000 for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, $15,000,000 for the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program, and $24,000,000 for Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology.
Hispanic Serving Institutions program
House: Hispanic Serving Institutions and the HSI grant program play an important role in increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Hispanic students pursuing STEM degrees. The Committee directs NSF to fund the HSI-specific program and demonstrate a $50,000,000 investment no later than September 30, 2019.
Senate: In addition, $30,000,000 is provided for the Hispanic Serving Institutions program to build capacity at institutions of higher education that typically do not receive high levels of NSF funding.
Senate: The Committee supports the Big Idea to broaden participation in science and engineering by developing networks and partnerships that involve organizations and consortia from different sectors committed to the common agenda of STEM inclusion, and the recommendation provides $20,000,000 for INCLUDES.
Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering program
Senate: The Committee is supportive of the ADVANCE program, which funds efforts to address the systemic barriers to women’s STEM careers. To maintain these efforts, the Committee provides $18,000,000, the same as the fiscal year 2018 funding level.
House: The recommendation includes no less than the fiscal year 2018 level for the NSF Innovation Corps program to support new and existing I–Corps Teams, Sites, and Nodes.
Senate: The Committee provides no less than the fiscal year 2018 amount for the Innovation Corps [I–Corps] program to build on the successes of its innovative public-private partnership model. Technology transfer is an important contributor to American innovation, and NSF plays a critical role in enabling our Nation’s brightest academic minds to bring their ideas and ingenuity to the marketplace. Scientists are trained in discovery but need help turning their research into real-world products and profits. Programs like I–Corps create jobs in our laboratories today and jobs in American industries tomorrow. The Committee encourages NSF to facilitate greater participation in the program from academic institutions in States that have not previously received awards.
Science Mission Directorate education activities
House: The recommendation includes $44,000,000 for Science Mission Directorate (SMD)-wide EPO activities. NASA shall, in the fiscal year 2019 spending plan, allocate these funds proportionally among the SMD divisions, resulting in a dedicated budget line for each division’s EPO activities.
Senate: The Committee provides no less than $45,000,000 for education. The Committee supports the recommendation that the Astrophysics program administer this SMD-wide education funding. The Committee encourages SMD-funded investigators to be directly involved in outreach and education efforts. NASA should continue to prioritize funding for on-going education efforts linked directly to its science missions.
Office of Education / Office of STEM Opportunities
House: The Committee recommends $90,000,000 for Education, which is $10,000,000 below fiscal year 2018 and $90,000,000 above the request. The Committee expects NASA to continue implementing the programs below and to ensure that overhead costs to support these programs do not exceed five percent.
Senate: The Committee does not agree with the proposed cancellation of the activities within Education and has provided funding for the programs formerly within Education under a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM] Opportunities account for the upcoming fiscal year. The Committee provides $110,000,000 for STEM Opportunities, which is $10,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $110,000,000 above the budget request. As part of this activity, NASA is directed to continue progress toward the Committee and NASA’s shared goal of capping administrative costs at no more than five percent. This account funds STEM education activities to educate and inspire our next generation of explorers and innovators.
The Committee is not averse to considering funding these activities either within the STEM Opportunities directorate or other alternative locations, but believes that they should continue. NASA has an enormous reach in inspiring the future scientists, engineers, and other technical activities that keep the Nation at the forefront of research and exploration and should review its programs to ensure they are appropriately funded.
Assessment of NASA STEM education activities
Senate: The Committee directs NASA to use fiscal year 2019 to review the programs within the STEM Opportunities Mission Directorate, along with its other education-related activities, in order to set NASA’s STEM activities on a path forward to take advantage of the positive impact NASA’s programs and missions have on the public. NASA shall provide the Committee a report on the results of this comprehensive review, including options for sustained and improved educational impact at all levels across the country, 90 days from enactment of this act.
The funds within STEM Opportunities are provided to ensure continuity in the ongoing programs as NASA evaluates its role in STEM education and development of students in science and engineering fields.
Space Grant program
House: The recommendation includes $40,000,000 for the Space Grant program. This amount shall be allocated to State consortia for competitively awarded grants in support of local, regional, and national STEM needs.
Senate: The Committee provides $44,000,000 for Space Grant and directs NASA to support a multi-year extension of the current Space Grant program, and to allocate the entire funding amount for consortia-led institutions in all 52 participating jurisdictions according to the percentage allocation provided to States in the current 5-year grant award.
Hands-on learning experiences
Senate: The Committee is supportive of NASA’s STEM education efforts that provide hands-on learning experiences for middle, high school, and college students, including space launch activities, and therefore rejects the proposed cancellation of education programs. These types of programs allow students to experience the full range of STEM-related skills involved in designing, testing, and launching vehicles and designing payloads to deepen their interest in science and engineering fields.
STEM Education and Accountability projects
Senate: The Committee provides $10,000,000 for the Competitive Program for Science, Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitors Centers within the STEM Education and Accountability Projects. This competitive grant program creates interactive exhibits, professional development activities, and community-based programs to engage students, teachers, and the public in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Use of Impact craters for STEM education
House: Impact craters in the U.S. that are well preserved and accessible provide researchers and educators with the opportunity to expand our understanding of the Earth’s and the Solar System’s history and show students research in action as a part of their STEM education. NASA is encouraged to make funds available for external competitive funding to conduct further scientific investigation of well-preserved and easily accessible impact craters, and provide education and outreach on Earth’s erosion processes and the scientific method of research.
Department of Energy
Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists Program
Senate: The Committee recommends $24,500,000 for Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists. Within available funds, the Committee recommends $11,300,000 for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship; $1,000,000 for the Community College Institute of Science and Technology; $4,500,000 for the Graduate Student Research Program; $1,200,000 for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship; $2,900,000 for the National Science Bowl; $750,000 for Technology Development and Online Application; $600,000 for Evaluation Studies; $500,000 for Outreach; and $50,000 for Laboratory Equipment Donation Program.
Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowship Program
House: Within available funds, the recommendation includes $10,000,000 for the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program.
Senate: Further, the Committee recommends $10,000,000 for the Computational Sciences Graduate Program.
Nuclear Energy Integrated University Program
House: The Committee recommends $5,000,000 to continue the Integrated University Program, which is critical to ensuring the nation’s nuclear science and engineering workforce in future years.
Senate: The Committee recommends $5,000,000 for the Integrated University Program. The Committee notes the administration repeatedly attempts to defund this program, despite continued success in developing highly qualified nuclear specialists to meet national needs.
NNSA Academic Alliances and Partnerships
House: Within Academic Alliances and Partnerships, not less than $20,000,000 shall be for the Minority Serving Institution Partnerships Program and not less than $9,000,000 shall be for academic grants for high energy density laboratory plasmas previously funded within the Inertial Confinement Fusion Ignition and High Yield program. The Committee supports continued research into high energy density plasmas and recognizes the partnerships between the national laboratories and research universities to address the critical need for skilled graduates to replace an aging workforce.
Senate: The Committee recognizes the importance of the Academic Alliances and Partnerships program in supporting fundamental science and technology research at universities that support stockpile stewardship, the development of the next generation of highly-trained workforce, and the maintenance of a strong network of independent technical peers. The Committee is also aware of the expertise provided to the NNSA by academic alliances and the centers of excellence program. The Committee encourages the NNSA to fund new centers of excellence, especially in the field of materials under extreme conditions research. The Committee recommends $53,364,000. Within this amount, not less than $20,000,000 is recommended for the Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, within which not less than $2,000,000 is recommended for Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy workforce development activities
House: Strategic Programs.—The Department is encouraged to work with 2-year, public community and technical colleges on job training programs that lead to an industry-recognized credential in the energy workforce.
Senate: Workforce Development.—The development of a skilled workforce is critical to the successful deployment and long-term sustainability of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. The Committee encourages funding within EERE programs to be allocated to training and workforce development programs that assist and support workers in trades and activities required for the continued growth of the U.S. energy efficiency and clean energy sectors. Furthermore, the Committee encourages the Department to work with 2-year, public community, and technical colleges for job training programs that lead to an industry-recognized credential in the energy workforce.
Department of Defense
National Defense Education Program
Senate: The Committee understands that the Nation’s global economic competitiveness and national security are dependent on a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and math and believes that increased investment is needed by the Department in these fields. Therefore, the Committee provides an increase in basic research funds for the National Defense Education Program and encourages the Department to partner with the Goldwater Foundation for additional education scholarships.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Office of Education
House: The Committee includes $28,500,000 for NOAA’s Office of Education. Of this amount, $16,000,000 is provided to continue the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions, and $7,500,000 is provided to continue the Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B–WET) regional programs.
Senate: The Committee rejects the proposal to eliminate NOAA’s Office of Education. Within the funds provided for NOAA’s Education Program, $5,000,000 is for competitive educational grants, which includes continued support for Environmental Literacy Grants and for improving geographic literacy; $15,500,000 is for the Educational Partnership Program with minority-serving institutions; and $7,500,000 is for Bay-Watershed Education and Training regional programs. NOAA is encouraged to engage students in live, interactive programming using telepresence technology.
Hispanic Serving Institutions program
Senate: The Committee encourages NOAA to consider the creation of a Cooperative Science Center at a Hispanic Serving Institution to help educate and train the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and one that is underrepresented in NOAA’s scientific workforce.
Sea Grant program
Senate: National Sea Grant College Program.—The Committee again flatly rejects the administration’s proposed elimination of NOAA’s Sea Grant program. Instead, the Committee provides an increase of $6,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted amount for the Sea Grant program and its research, education, extension, and outreach activities, which are critical for coastal communities and benefit the entire Nation. This level of funding supports the key focus areas in the program’s strategic plan: sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, healthy coastal ecosystems, environmental literacy, and workforce development. In addition, the Committee directs NOAA to continue funding all Sea Grant STEM education and fellowship programs. Further, NOAA is directed to continue its partnership with academic programs that provide legal expertise related to Sea Grant’s mission and also encourages the Sea Grant program to prioritize providing training, education, outreach, and technical assistance for young fishermen.
Additionally, the Committee understands that the Sea Grant program provides no less than $1,000,000 in annual base funding, or $4,000,000 over the course of the 4-year grant cycle, to each Sea Grant program with Institutional or College Program status. NOAA is directed to continue this funding model for Sea Grant programs receiving Institutional or College Program status in fiscal year 2019.
Sea Grant Fellowship Program.—NOAA’s Sea Grant program is reminded that the Committee’s broad support is due to the program’s historically objective standards, State-driven goals, and nonpartisan priorities. Within NOAA’s Sea Grant program, the National Sea Grant Fellowship program serves as a valuable pipeline for our Nation’s future ocean science and policy experts. The Fellowship program should remain objective and apolitical, and should increase its efforts to recruit qualified, non-partisan candidates who are committed to working on oceans and coastal issues for any Member of Congress, regardless of political affiliation.