FY2005 Labor/HHS Appropriations (11-29-04)
The primary interest for the geoscience community with the Labor,
Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (known as
the Labor/HHS) appropriations bill is the treatment of science education
within the Department of Education
(DoEd). When the No Child Left Behind
Act was signed into law on January 8, 2002, it transformed the
way in which the federal government funds elementary and secondary
math and science education. In the past, math and science education
was funded through the Eisenhower National Programs, which included
Professional Development Grants provided to each state, the Eisenhower
National Clearinghouse (ENC), and
Regional Mathematics and Science Education Consortia. The FY 2004
budget request would eliminate funding for the ENC in keeping with
separate legislation passed in November 2002 to restructure the former
DoEd Office of Educational Research and Improvement into the new Institute
of Education Sciences. The No Child Left Behind Act also established
Math/Science Partnerships (MSP) as a DoEd program to provide support
for improving math and science education. This program is complemented
by an identically named program at the National Science Foundation,
funded through the VA, HUD
and Independent Agencies appropriations legislation. For more
information, see the American
Institute of Physics FYI 2003-84.
Request for FY 2005
The Department of Education (ED) requested a total of $57.34 billion
in discretionary funding, an increase of nearly 3% from last year's
funding level. Similar to the last couple of years, the ED program
for math and science education for elementary and secondary education
is funded through the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program --
there is an identically named program at the National Science Foundation
that complements the ED program. The funding request for MSP is $269.1
million, an 80% increase over last year's allocation. However, this
funding is primarily for mathematics, not science. In addition, this
large increase is due to a decrease in the NSF part of the MSP program.
The Administration plans to phase the MSP program out of NSF and move
it entirely to ED.
Additional information on the ED budget is available at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/Budget04/04summary/index.html.
The Department of Education received a $2 billion increase in funding
for a total of $60.3 billion in FY05. This amount is $400 million
more than the President requested. There is an additional $16.8 billion
in unspent funds that are currently available to the states. The bill
allocates $269 million for Math and Science Partnerships, which is
a $120 million increase over FY04 and identical to the President's
request. These additional funds will be used to increase the number
of teachers trained in the fields of math and science.
The Committee recommended $61.4 billion dollars for the Department
of Education, 10% more than the FY04 enacted level and 7% more than
the President's request. The Mathematics and Science Partnerships
would receive $200 million, $9 million or 4.5% less than requested
but $51 million or 34% more than current funding. The report states,
"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."
Once again, Congress failed to pass all thirteen appropriations
bills by the September 30th deadline and opted to pass two continuing
resolutions, funding all federal agencies at FY04 levels until December
3. Congress came back into lame duck session on November 16th with
the omnibus appropriations legislation first on the agenda. When all
the dust settled, Congress agreed on the massive 3000 page $388 billion
spending bill H.R. 4818 for FY05. The bill, which was crafted under
the mantra of fiscal restraint, employed a 0.8% across-the-board cut
to reign in spending. This figure is reflected in the FY05 Enacted
column on the table above.
The Department of Education will receive $56.5 billion
in FY05, 1.5% more than the current enacted level. The Math and Science
Partnerships budget increased 16% to $179 million. This will mean
more formula grants to the states for Math and Science Partnerships.
However, in the same omnibus spending bill, Congress reduced the National
Science Foundation's Math and Science Partnership program, a peer-reviewed
competitive program to find and fund the most innovative partnerships
across the country, by 43%. This means that in the future, there will
be less innovative programs for the formula grant administered by
the Department of Education to draw from. These programs work in a
complementary fashion and an increase in one with a decrease to the
other does not add up to success for the overall program goals.
Sources: Math and Science Partnership Working Group; White House
Office of Management and Budget; Department of Education website;
House Appropriations press release.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Contributed by Emily M. Lehr, AGI Government Affairs Program staff;
Gayle Levy, AGI/AAPG 2004 Spring Semester Intern; and Ashlee Dere,
AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern, David Millar AGI/AAPG 2004 Fall Semester
Last Update November 29, 2004