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FYI Number 129: October 17, 2001

House and Senate Appropriations Report Language on Science Education

As reported in FYI #128, progress has been made on the Labor-HHS- Education appropriations bills in both the House and the Senate. The full House has passed its version of the bill, H.R. 3061, while the companion bill in the Senate, S. 1536, has passed the Appropriations Committee and awaits action by the full Senate.

Each bill is accompanied by a committee report which provides some explanation of the funding recommendations. Below are selected portions of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees' reports relating to science and math education. In past years, as explained in FYI #128, the Eisenhower program supported teacher professional development in science and math; for FY 2002, the Eisenhower program has been rolled into a Teacher Quality initiative, and a new Math and Science Partnerships program would fund a wider array of activities to improve science and math education.

HOUSE REPORT 107-229

The report states, "Consistent with the fiscal year 2002 budget request and passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1, the bill places high priority on enhancing Federal support for education." Noting that conferees are working to complete the ESEA bill (H.R. 1), the report continues, "The Committee has provided funding for programs included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization under the structure outlined in H.R. 1 as passed by the House."

State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality: "The bill includes $3,175,000,000 for state grants for improving teacher quality, which is $575,000,000 above the budget request. This new program consolidates the Eisenhower professional development program and the class size reduction program."

Math and Science Partnerships: Of the $3.175 billion recommended for Teacher Quality, "States must also award between 15 and 20 percent of funds on a competitive basis to eligible partnerships for math and science programs."

SENATE REPORT 107-84

The report states, "The Committee understands that programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended, currently are under consideration for reauthorization. Therefore, the Committee has allocated funds for these programs in accordance with H.R. 1, the ESEA reauthorization bill, as passed by the Senate on June 14, 2001."

State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality: "The Committee recommends an appropriation of $3,039,834,000 for State grants for improving teacher quality, a new program. This amount is $439,834,000 more than the budget request and $931,834,000 more than comparable programs in the fiscal year 2001 appropriation. This program replaces the Eisenhower professional development State grants program, Eisenhower professional development Federal activities, Eisenhower regional math and science education consortia, and the class size reduction program."

Mathematics and Science Partnerships: The committee report says, "In January 2001, the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century issued a report titled, 'Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change.' This Commission, co-chaired by former Senators Warren Rudman and Gary Hart, concluded that 'America faces distinctly new dangers, particularly to the homeland and to our scientific and educational base.' One of the many recommendations outlined in the report was the need to produce more science and engineering professionals as well as qualified teachers in science and math.

"In responding to this need, the Committee recommends $25,000,000 for mathematics and science partnerships, a new program authorized by the Senate-passed version of the ESEA reauthorization bill. The administration requested no funds for this purpose. [The Administration instead requested $200 million for a similar math/science partnership program in NSF, which has been funded at this level or close by both the House and Senate VA/HUD appropriations bills.] These funds will be used to improve the performance of students in the areas of math and science by bringing math and science teachers in elementary and secondary schools together with scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to increase the teachers' subject-matter knowledge and improve their teaching skills. The Secretary is authorized to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible partnerships to enable the entities to pay the Federal share of the costs of developing or redesigning more rigorous mathematics and science curricula that are aligned with State and local standards; creating opportunities for enhanced professional development that improves the subject-matter knowledge of math and science teachers; recruiting math and science majors; and improving and expanding training of math and science teachers, including the effective integration of technology into curricula and instruction."

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse: "In addition, $5,000,000 is included for the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education." (House appropriators apparently did not provide funding for the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse.)

Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
(301) 209-3094

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