Just prior to the end of the year, Congress came to a compromise and passed a consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 2055) for FY 2012, totaling $915 billion. The bill cut the Department of Education’s budget by $153 million over last year, putting its FY12 funding at $71.3 billion. Despite the House’s proposed elimination of funding for the Math and Science Partnerships, the program survived at $150 million for FY12, a decrease of $25 million from FY11. In his budget request, President Obama had proposed replacing the MSP with a $206 million comprehensive STEM program, “Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM.” This program was not funded, but the MSP will continue this year.
The President’s key programs – Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation (i3), School Improvement Grants, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and Promise Neighborhoods, were all included in the budget, although some received cuts. RTTT received $549 million in FY12 funding, which is $150 million less than last year and much less than the Administration’s $900 million request. Funding for i3 remained at last year’s $149 million. Both of these programs have strong STEM emphasis.
Prior to the bill’s passage, the government had been operating under continuing resolutions since October 1, 2011. The omnibus spending bill now funds the government through September 30, 2012.
Richard M. Jones, FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News
May 11, 2011
Yesterday Members of the House of Representatives received a letter requesting that they demonstrate their support for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. By noon tomorrow – Thursday, May 12 – representatives can sign a letter to Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Ed Pastor (D-AZ) to “express our strong support for robust and sustained funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the critical research, unique scientific facilities, and expert personnel that it supports.” The letter requests: “we urge you to make strong and sustained funding for the DOE Office of Science one of your highest priorities in fiscal year 2012.”
The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to begin its mark-up of the FY 2012 appropriations bills this week. Pressure on House appropriators will be severe as the House voted to cut FY 2012 discretionary spending by $31 billion as compared to FY 2011.
This “Dear Colleague” letter was sent by Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Given the short deadline, your representative is far more likely to respond to this letter if contacted by a constituent. The telephone number for the House of Representatives’ switchboard is 202-224-3121.
The letter is posted in today’s FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News.
Triangle Coalition members should note that the Department of Energy Office of Science, Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) manages the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program.