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FY2007 Department of Education Appropriations (2-17-06)

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The primary interest for the geoscience community in funding for the Department of Education (DoEd) is the treatment of science education. 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 the Eisenhower Professional Development Grants provided to each state, the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, and the Eisenhower Regional Mathematics and Science Education Consortia. The Eisenhower Programs were eliminated in September 2005 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 a Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program within the DoEd to provide support for improving math and science education. A Math and Science Partnership program was also established at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and although the MSPs have the same name they are allocated in different ways and use different, but complementary, approaches to improve math and science education.

 

Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Department of Education Appropriations Process

Account

FY06 Enacted
($million)

House Action
($million)

Senate Action
($million)

Department of Education (total)

57,600
54,400
 
 
 

Math and Science Partnerships

182.1
182.1
 
 
 

Math Now for elementary school students

0
125
 
 
 

Math Now for middle school students

0
125
 
 
 

National Mathematics Panel

0
10
 
 
 

Evaluation of math and science education programs

0
5
 
 
 

Adjunct Teacher Corps

0
25
 
 
 

Advanced Placement

32.1
122.1
 
 
 

Academic Competitiveness and SMART Grants

790
850
 
 
 

President's Request for FY 2007

The President's fiscal year (FY) 2007 request for the Department of Education (DoEd) places an emphasis on increasing US competitiveness through math, science, and foreign language programs in keeping with the administration's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) announced in the President's State of the Union address. The total DoEd request for FY 2007 is $54.4 billion, down $3.2 billion (about 5.5%) from FY 2006. Of that total, $380 million is devoted to new funds for projects within the ACI.

Specific funding initiatives in the ACI include $125 million for Math Now for elementary school students and $125 million for Math Now for middle school students, two programs modeled after Reading First that would improve K-8 math instruction. An additional $10 million would be devoted to the creation of a National Math Panel to review and develop math curricula, and $5 million would be used to evaluate and improve current federal math and science programs. The request also includes an increase of $90 million from $32 million in FY 2006 (280%) for the Advanced Placement (AP) program in order to train more AP teachers and increase the number of students participating in the program. Finally, $25 million would be made available for the development of an Adjunct Teacher Corps that would create opportunities for math and science professionals to teach high school courses. In contrast to these increases, funding for the Department of Education Math and Science Partnerships would remain constant at $182.2 million under the proposed budget.

A second focus of the Department of Education budget request is the devotion of $1.475 billion to the President's High School Reform Initiative, which would reorganize funds from a number of existing programs, creating a single account for high school academics, interventions, and assessments. This initiative would be funding in large part by the elimination of a number of smaller educational programs, including Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP, funded at $303.4 million in FY 2006), TRIO Talent Search ($145.3 million), Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math/Science ($311.0 million), Educational Technology State Grants ($272.3 million) and vocational and technical education programs ($1,296.3 million). The Department of Education budget documents provide a rationale for the reorganization, stating "The High School Reform initiative … would expand the application of No Child Left Behind principles to the high-school grades by providing States with a flexible resource that can be used for efforts to improve high school education and raise achievement, particularly the achievement of students most at risk of failure. States and school districts would be able to use the funds for vocational education, tech-prep programs, mentoring and counseling programs, and other purposes, depending on State and local needs and priorities. The new initiative would give States and districts more flexibility than they have under the categorical programs it would replace, and would also have stronger accountability mechanisms."

A few higher education programs would also receive increased funding under the budget proposal. Academic Competitiveness and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants would receive a boost of $60 million, an increase of nearly 8%. The grants, which were first funded in FY 2006, would provide a total of $850 million for low-income college students who major in math, science, engineering, critical foreign languages in FY 2007. The funding increase would allow an additional 65 students to receive scholarships. In addition, the amount of aid available to low-income students through Pell Grants would increase slightly from $12,745.9 million to $12,986.0 million (2%), providing funds for an additional 59 students.

About $3.5 billion would be cut in FY 2007, compared with the FY 2006 appropriations, by eliminating 42 programs and reducing funding for many others. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has rated many of these programs as "results not demonstrated" and therefore suggests that they be eliminated or cut. About $1.6 billion of the FY 2006 budget was for assistance to educational programs affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, however, education will still see a significant reduction of existing programs if the request for FY 2007 is enacted.

Department of Education budget documents are available online.

House Action

 

The House of Representatives considers funding for the Department of Education in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Representative Ralph Regula (R-OH), other members include Representatives Istook (R-OK), Wicker (R-MS), Northup (R-KY), Granger (R-TX), Peterson (R-PA), Sherwood (R-PA), Weldon (R-FL), Walsh (R-NY), Simpson (R-ID), Obey (D-WI), Hoyer (D-MD), Lowey (D-NY), DeLauro (D-CT), Jackson (D-IL), Kennedy (D-RI) and Roybal-Allard (D-CA).

Senate Action


The United States Senate considers funding for the Department of Education in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), other members include Senators Cochran (R-MS), Gregg (R-NH), Craig (R-ID), Hutchison (R-TX), Stevens (R-AK), DeWine (R-OH), Shelby (R-AL), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Reid (D-NV), Kohl (D-WI), Murray (D-WA), Landrieu (D-LA), and Durbin (D-IL).

Conference Action

 

Appropriations Hearings

 

Sources: Department of Education budget documents.

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at govt@agiweb.org.

Contributed by Jenny Fisher, 2006 AGI/AAPG Spring Intern.

Last Update February 17, 2006.


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