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FYI Number 112: November 13, 2007

FY 2008 Funding Bill Passed, Vetoed for NIBIB, Education Programs

Congress has passed and sent to the President the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. H.R. 3043 provides funding to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, as well as the Department of Education's Mathematics and Science Partnerships program. President Bush, as expected, vetoed the $150.7 billion bill this morning, which is $9.8 billion more than he requested. It will be difficult to secure enough votes in the House to override the President's veto. These and other programs for which funding bills have not been passed are being funded through a continuing resolution which runs until December 14.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL IMAGING AND BIOENGINEERING:

NIBIB, a part of the National Institutes of Health, had a budget of $296.4 million in FY 2007.

The Administration requested $300.5 million for the Institute for FY 2008.

The conference report (final version) of H.R. 3043 provides $305.9 million. This is an increase of 3.2 percent or $9.5 million.

There was no conference report language regarding NIBIB. Under a section entitled "Office of the [NIH] Director" it is explained that "The conference agreement provides funding for a 2.5 percent increase in the average cost of new grants and for committed levels for existing grants" and "The conference agreement includes sufficient funds to provide an average 2.2 percent increase in research training stipends."

See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/020.html for information on the Administration's request.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

The Department of Education administers one of two Math and Science Partnerships programs (the other program, with a much different focus, is at the National Science Foundation.) The Department of Education's Math and Science Partnership had an FY 2007 budget of $182.1 million.

The Administration requested flat funding - $182.1 million - for FY 2008.

The conference report (final version) of H.R. 3043 provides $183.2 million. This is an increase of 0.5 percent or $0.9 million.

There was no conference report language on this program. The report states "In implementing this conference agreement, the Departments and agencies should be guided by the language and instructions" in the individual appropriations committee reports. "In the cases where the language and instructions in either report specifically address the allocation of funds, each has been reviewed by the conferees and those that are jointly concurred in have been endorsed in this joint statement." See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/074.html and http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/068.html for this language.

The conference report contained other STEM language:

"The conference agreement includes $46,000,000 for Advanced Placement programs instead of $50,000,000 as proposed by the House and $42,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. The conferees intend that funds be used first for the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program, estimated to require $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2008. The remaining funds shall be used for continuing and new awards under the Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants. The conferees encourage the Department to incorporate a priority for projects focused on the sciences, mathematics, and foreign languages in the fiscal year 2008 competition for new awards under the Advanced Placement Incentive Program."

"SCIENCE ASSESSMENT: The conference agreement does not include a general provision proposed by the Senate expressing the sense of the Senate regarding science teaching and the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2009 science test. The House did not have a similar provision. Language relating to this provision is included in the IES [Institute of Education Sciences] account." The IES language states: "The conference agreement includes funding above the fiscal year 2007 level to support 12th grade State reading and math assessments, as well as scheduled assessments in other subjects approved by the National Assessment Governing Board. The Senate included similar language. The House did not include funds for this purpose." Also included in this IES language: "The conferees request that the National Assessment Governing Board make particular certifications regarding the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2009 science test, as described in section 310 of H.R. 3043, as passed by the Senate. The House bill did not include a similar provision."

"STEM PROGRAMS: The conference agreement does not include a general provision proposed by the Senate that provides funding for programs that assist teachers acquiring degrees in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) or critical foreign languages. The Senate proposed an administrative reduction to support these program increases. The House did not include a similar provision. Funding for these programs is included in the Higher Education account [for the Foreign Language Assistance Program]."

The conference agreement does not provide any funding for Math Now for elementary school students or Math Now for middle school students. The Administration had requested $125 million for each program.

See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/022.html for information on the Administration's request.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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