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FYI Number 22: February 14, 2005

FY 2006 Budget Request for Science Education Programs

The Department of Education's Mathematics and Science Partnership program would grow by more than 50 percent under President Bush's FY 2006 budget request, but a substantial portion of the program's funding would be targeted strictly to improving secondary school mathematics. At NSF, the foundation's Mathematics and Science Partnership program would be cut by almost 25 percent, with no funding for new awards in FY 2006.

Both the NSF and Education Department Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSPs) are intended to improve science and math education through partnerships among states, school districts, university science or math departments, and other eligible partners. The NSF MSPs fund merit-based grants to develop model programs and best practices; the Education Department MSPs provide funding to states by formula grant, to be distributed to partnerships that include high-need school districts.


Within NSF, the total Education and Human Resources (EHR) budget would decline 12.4%, or $104.42 million, from $841.42 million to $737.00 million. Details of the EHR request can be found at under "Directorate Summaries: Education and Human Resources."

Mathematics and Science Partnerships: Down 24.4%, or $19.36 million, from $79.36 million to $60.00 million. Regarding NSF's Math and Science Partnership program, NSF budget documents note that the FY 2006 funding would support "awards made in previous years, plus data collection, evaluation, knowledge management and dissemination. No new partnership awards will be made in FY 2006."

EPSCoR: Up 0.3%, or $0.32 million, from $93.68 million to $94.00 million. The request says, "EPSCoR is funded at a similar level to the FY 2005 Current Plan."

Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education: Down 22.6%, or $41.15 million, from $181.95 million to $140.80 million. According to NSF budget documents, major changes in ESIE include reductions to the Teacher Professional Continuum program; the Instructional Materials Development program; Curricula evaluations and materials development; and the Centers for Learning and Teaching program.

Undergraduate Education: Down 12.1%, or $18.67 million, from $153.67 million to $135.00 million. Major changes include reductions to the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement program; the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service program; and the National STEM Education Digital Library. The Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars would be discontinued. An increase would be provided for the Higher Education Centers for Learning and Teaching.

Graduate Education: Up 0.2%, or $0.30 million, from $154.70 million to $155.0 million. The request states, "Increased funding will be distributed equally among the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program, and the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program."

Human Resource Development: Down 0.1%, or $0.14 million, from $118.54 million to $118.40 million. No funds would be requested for the Model Institutions for Excellence; MIE funds would be "reallocated to the Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology."

Research, Evaluation and Communication: Down 43.2%, or $25.72 million, from $59.52 million to $33.80 million. The FY 2006 request would "continue support for awards made in FY 2005 and earlier years. No new awards are expected in FY 2006."


Mathematics and Science Partnerships: Up 51.0%, or $90.4 million, from $178.6 million to $269.0 million. The request would target $120.0 million of the MSP funds to secondary math. A similar attempt was made in last year's request, but did not survive through the congressional appropriations process. The Education Department's budget request states: "Combined with existing funding, this increase would support the President's high school reform strategy by funding $120 million in competitive grants to accelerate the mathematics learning of secondary school students, especially those who are at risk of dropping out of school because they lack basic skills in mathematics.... Current 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. However, continuing evidence of low mathematics achievement on both the National Assessment of Educational Progress and multiple international assessments justifies a stronger, more targeted emphasis on high school mathematics."

According to Education Department budget documents, other highlights of the budget for elementary and secondary education programs include the following:

"A $22 million increase for the Advanced Placement program to expand the availability of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs in schools with large populations of low-income students and to train teachers for those programs."

"$12 million for State Scholars Capacity Building to increase the number of States implementing State Scholars programs, which encourage high school students to complete a rigorous four-year course of study."

"$500 million for a new Teacher Incentive Fund, which would provide formula grants to reward effective teachers and create incentives to attract qualified teachers to high-need schools, as well as competitive grants to design and implement performance-based compensation systems that change the way school districts pay teachers."

"$2.92 billion [equal to current-year funding] for Improving Teacher Quality State Grants to help States ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified."

Further information on the FY 2006 budget request for the Department of Education's elementary and secondary education programs can be found at: under "Elementary and Secondary Education."

Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics

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