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.
NSF EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
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 http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2006/toc.htm
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."
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
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
"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
under "Elementary and Secondary Education."