Representatives from the Triangle Coalition, NSTA, NCTM, ACS, ASME, and other members of the MATH/MARKETING AND ECOMMERCE Partnership Coalition are meeting with staff from Senate and Congressional offices to urge Congress to fully fund the Math and Science Partnerships (Title II, Part B) included in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The teacher professional development program was authorized at $450 million but Congress provided only $12.5 million for the program for FY 2002 (July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003). The meetings provided Coalition members with an opportunity to share with Congress the need to improve the quality of Math and Science education and the potential benefits of instituting the Math and eCommerce Partnerships at the state level. The partnerships will be administered at the national level if funding is $100 million or less in a given fiscal year and at the state level if they receive funding of more than $100 million.
On March 21, Congressmen Holt, Ehlers, and Boehlert met with members of the Math/Science Partnership Coalition as well as representatives from business to discuss future funding of the partnerships. At the luncheon, the Congressmen discussed the importance of math and science education and emphasized the importance of grassroots efforts in persuading members of Congress to appropriate sufficient funds for the program.
SCIENCE AND MATH RECEIVE LITTLE FUNDING IN LABOR-HHS FY 2002 APPROPRIATIONS
The Labor-HHS FY 2002 appropriations conference committee voted to limit funding for innovative new science and math education partnerships in ESEA Title II: Part B to $12.5 million. This is in sharp contrast to the $250 million Congress appropriated for math and science teacher professional development in FY 2001 and to the $450 million that Congress had authorized for this program.
On a more positive note, Title II, Part A – Teacher Quality was funded at $2.85 billion. “While there are no specific set asides for math and science teachers,” explains Triangle Coalition Executive Director Pat White, “these funds are targeted toward improving teacher quality in the core subject areas and represent significant opportunities for professional development for math and science teachers.” These funds also can be used to bring more qualified science and math teachers into the classroom, as well as dramatically enhance the professional development that is provided to current in-service teachers.