FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FY 2012 Senate Appropriations Bill: Department of Education Science Education Programs

Richard M. Jones
Number 123 - October 4, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its version of the FY 2012 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill.  This measure provides funding for the Department of Education. 

Senate Report 112-84 accompanies this bill, S. 1599. In the introduction to the section on the Department of Education, the report explains: “The President’s budget for fiscal year 2012 was based on the administration’s proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA], but no such bill has passed the Senate.  As a result, the Committee bill is based on current law for programs authorized under the ESEA.”

The House Appropriations Committee has not acted on its FY 2012 funding bill for the Department of Education.

There were two sections of the committee report focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs, as shown below.  Page numbers are provided for reference to the pdf version of the report.

Under School Improvement Programs is the following language on pages 172 and 173.

Effective Teaching and Learning: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM]

[This was a new program that was to replace Mathematics and Science Partnerships.]

“The Committee recommends no funds for the proposed Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM program. The budget request for fiscal year 2012 is $206,046,000. Activities supported under this proposed program are instead funded under current law.

“The Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM would provide competitive grants to SEAs, [state educational agencies] or SEAs in partnership with appropriate outside entities, to support State and local efforts to implement a comprehensive strategy for the provision of high-quality STEM instruction and support to students from preschool through grade 12.”

Mathematics and Science Partnerships

[The Administration requested no funding for this program.]

“The Committee recommends $175,127,000, the same amount as the fiscal year 2011 level, for the mathematics and science partnerships program. The budget proposes $206,046,000 for a new Effective Teaching and Learning: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program.

“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 educational agencies].”

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics