Press Release

AIP FYI #99: Appropriations Report Language on NSF: Education and Human Resources

By SpaceRef Editor
July 30, 2001
Filed under ,

As noted in FYIs #97 and 98, the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees have released their reports
accompanying the FY 2002 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bills. Below is the full report language
pertaining to Education and Human Resources from House Report
107-159 and Senate Report 107-43. Readers wishing to view the
entire text of both reports may do so at www.thomas.loc.gov
See FYI #97 for additional discussion of education issues in
the reports’ sections on Research and Related Activities.
House and Senate appropriators will meet to decide on final
language before a final vote is taken on this legislation in
both chambers.

HOUSE REPORT:

“For fiscal year 2002, the Committee recommends $885,720,000,
an increase of $98,368,000 above last year’s appropriated level
and $13,313,00 above the budget request.

“The Committee’s recommendation includes program levels of
$75,000,000 for the EPSCoR program, $27,000,000 for the Louis
Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program, and
$17,000,000 for the Historically Black Colleges and
Universities–Undergraduate Program, all of which are increases
above the budget request.

“The Committee remains impressed with the continued success of
the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
Development Grant program. The Committee recognizes that
further expansion of the program may be warranted given the
unmistakable contributions HBCUs have made and realizes that
some assessment of these contributions is needed first. The
Committee therefore recommends that up to $1,000,000 be used by
NSF for an independent, thorough analysis of the economic
impact of HBCUs in their surrounding communities, which will
serve as a starting point for future enhancement of the HBCU
Development Grant Program.

“In addition to providing the budget request of $200,000,000
for the new Math and Science Partnerships Program, the
Committee’s recommendation includes $5,000,000 for Teacher
Research Scholarships and $5,000,000 for Noyce Scholarships,
both of which are intended to be provided in a manner
consistent with and as described in `The Mathematics and
Science Partnerships Act,’ H.R. 1858.

“The Committee recognizes the important role that community
colleges play in providing accessible, quality educational
opportunities to the public, promoting community and economic
development, and enhancing the quality of life for our Nation.
The Committee recognizes previous efforts at the National
Science Foundation to improve its partnership with community
colleges. However, the Committee encourages the National
Science Foundation to further strengthen its outreach to
community colleges and to strive to better emphasize the
involvement of community colleges in its activities. The
Committee expects that the expenditure of National Science
Foundation resources will better reflect the expanding role of
community colleges in helping the National Science Foundation
achieve its goals.

“The Committee acknowledges the importance of the ATE program
and encourages the Foundation to consider it among the
priorities when allocating additional funds provided by the
Congress. “Similarly, the Foundation may, through a
competitive, merit-based process, provide to a consortium
composed of community colleges a grant for the purpose of
carrying out a pilot project to provide support to encourage
women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to enter and
complete programs in science, engineering, and technology.”

SENATE REPORT:

“The Committee recommends an appropriation of $872,407,000 for
education and human resources. This amount is $86,787,000 more
than the fiscal year 2001 level and equal to the request.

“The Committee is supportive of the new Math and Science
Partnerships program, but only to the extent it actually builds
on and includes the local, urban and rural systemic reform, and
teacher and student development programs currently being
supported by NSF. The Committee recommends a total of
$190,000,000 for this program; $130,000,000 is provided in this
appropriation and the remainder is to be derived from the H-1B
Nonimmigrant Petitioner Receipts the agency receives for
Private-Public Partnerships in K-12 education. The Committee
directs the Foundation to submit a report with the fiscal year
2002 operating plan that outlines how the educational systemic
reform and elementary and secondary education efforts will be
supported within this new program. The report should also
include a management plan that reflects advice from the
education directorate’s advisory committee and policy direction
from the National Science Board.

“In last year’s report the Committee expressed its deep
disappointment that the Administration had attempted to
terminate the Office of Innovation Partnerships. The Committee
reversed that proposal and funded the OIP at $10,000,000.
Regrettably, once again the Administration has proposed the
termination of this innovative program which is designed to
enhance technology transfer activities as well as assist the
needs of smaller research institutions. The Committee is
adamant that the Foundation should support this effort and has
provided $15,000,000 for reinstatement and growth of this
program. In addition, the Committee is providing $85,000,000
for the EPSCoR program in this account. This is $10,000,000
above the request. An additional $25,000,000 in co-funding for
EPSCoR is provided through the research and related activities
account bringing the total amount available for NSF EPSCoR
activities to a level of $110,000,000. The Committee
encourages NSF to consider an application from Rhode Island to
qualify for the EPSCoR program.

“The Committee remains troubled by the declining supply of
scientists and engineers being produced in this country.
Industry is becoming more dependent on foreign workers to fill
their workforce needs due to declining interest among students
to enter science and engineering. To assist in addressing this
problem, within the undergraduate education subactivity,
$20,000,000 is added specifically for a new undergraduate
workforce initiative. The Committee expects NSF to use these
additional funds to establish a new merit-based, competitive
grants program for colleges and universities for increasing the
number of undergraduate degree recipients in science and
engineering. The types of projects NSF should support include
undergraduate traineeships; targeted mentoring relationships
for students for under-represented groups; internships offered
in partnership with industry; and innovative uses of digital
technologies particularly at institutions serving economically
disadvantaged students. NSF should submit a report outlining
how it will proceed with this new program as part of the its
fiscal year 2002 operating plan.

“Continuing with the workforce theme, the Committee concurs
with the priority the Foundation has attached to increasing
financial support for graduate students. Increasing stipends
within the NSF graduate education programs is one strategy to
attract more U.S. citizens to graduate education in science and
engineering. Currently, the average stipend level for graduate
education in science and engineering is less than half the
average wage for bachelor’s degree recipients. This wide
disparity may be a significant factor in declining graduate
school enrollments for science and engineering. A recent survey
found that 57 percent of baccalaureate recipients did not apply
to science and engineering graduate programs for financial
reasons. This is particularly true for under-represented
minorities. Therefore, the Committee has increased the graduate
education subactivity request by $15,000,000. These additional
funds are to be used to increase the stipends for graduate
students by nearly 20 percent to a level of $21,500.

“The Committee is not in accord with the Foundation’s proposal
to freeze funding for women, minorities, and other
under-represented groups in science and engineering. Therefore,
the Committee recommends an increase of $10,000,000 for the
human resource development subactivity, of which $8,000,000 is
to establish an initiative that will stimulate the competitive
research capacity of historically black colleges and
universities that provide doctoral degrees in science and
engineering; and $2,000,000 is to augment the ongoing
Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate
Program (HBCU-UP) to $16,000,000. An additional $4,000,000 from
the research and related activities appropriations account is
also to be available for the HBCU-UP program. The Committee is
aware the current program solicitation restricts eligibility to
certain institutions. The Committee strongly believes the
HBCU-UP program should be open to all HBCU’s that offer degrees
in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

“The Committee strongly supports the Foundation’s Tribal
Colleges program. The Committee understands that in the fiscal
year 2001 competition, the Foundation included Alaskan Native
serving institutions and Native Hawaiian serving institutions
as eligible entities to receive funds from this program. The
Committee appreciates the Foundation’s assistance in helping
these entities and expects it to continue this policy.”

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Richard M .Jones

Public Information Division

The American Institute of Physics

fyi@aip.org

(301) 209-3095

http://www.aip.org/gov

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SpaceRef staff editor.