FY 2009 Senate Appropriations Bill: Department of Education

Print this pagePrint this page
Publication date: 
18 July 2008
Number: 
79

There are several Department of Education programs in the Senate FY 2009 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that target science and math. Senate appropriators provided level funding for the Math and Science Partnerships, Minority Science and Engineering Improvement, and BA degrees in STEM and Critical Foreign Languages. S. 3230 included new money for Advanced Placement programs, but does not have funding for the proposed Math Now initiative.

The following selections are taken from Senate Report 110-410 accompanying the bill; the entire text may be read here.

MATH AND SCIENCE PARTNERSHIPS:

The current budget is $179.0 million.
The Administration requested $179.0 million.
The Senate bill recommended $179.0 million.

The Senate Committee report stated:

"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 Department awards grants to States by a formula based on the number of children aged 5 to 17 who are from families with incomes below the poverty line. States then are required to make grants competitively to eligible partnerships, which must include an engineering, math or science department of an institution of higher learning and a high-need LEA [local education agency]."

Note that the National Science Foundation has a program with the same name, but with a different focus.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT:

Comparable current year funding is $43.5 million.
The Administration requested $70.0 million.
The Senate bill recommended $43.5 million.

The Senate Committee report stated:

"The Committee recommends $43,540,000 for Advanced Placement [AP] and International Baccalaureate [IB] programs, as authorized under the America COMPETES Act, as well as for activities authorized by the ESEA [Elementary and Secondary Education Act]."

"The Committee includes bill language requested by the administration stating that fiscal year 2009 funds will first be used to pay continuation costs under the ESEA Advanced Placement Incentive [API] Grant program, which are used to expand access for low-income individuals to advanced placement programs, and to meet State needs for AP test fees. The balance of the recommended funds should be allocated under the new America COMPETES authority, which targets Federal support more specifically on preparing teachers to teach classes in math, science and critical foreign languages, and on encouraging more students from high-need schools to take and pass AP and IB courses in those subjects.

"Under the new program, the Education Department will make competitive grants to State educational agencies, LEAs or eligible partnerships. Grantees must provide a 2-to-1 match for Federal funds.

"The Committee estimates that approximately $12,000,000 would be needed to fund the test fees program and $11,045,000 for the API continuation grants, leaving approximately $20,495,000 for new grants under the America COMPETES authority."

MINORITY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENT:

The current budget is $8.6 million.
The Administration requested $8.6 million.
The Senate bill recommended $8.6 million.

The Senate Committee report stated:

"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."

BA DEGREES IN STEM AND CRITICAL FOREIGN LANGUAGES:

The current budget is $983,000
The Administration requested no funding.
The Senate bill recommended $983,000.

The Senate Committee report stated:

"Under this program grants are awarded on a competitive basis, to eligible recipients to implement teacher education programs that promote effective teaching skills and lead to a baccalaureate degree in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or a critical foreign language with concurrent teacher certification."

MATH NOW:

This was a proposed program for which the Administration requested $95,000. The Senate Committee report stated:

"The Committee recommendation does not include any funding for the proposed Math Now initiative, which is authorized by the America COMPETES Act and is intended to improve math instruction for students in kindergarten through 9th grade."