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Policy Updates

Presidential Budget Proposal 2006

NSF Budget for 2006: Opening Round

The President has made his proposal for the NSF budget for FY 2006, and it portends changes for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and for Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE), as well as for NSF's MSP program. This is just the first of many stages through which the appropriations will have to pass. Constitutionally, the House is the official source of appropriations bills, and the final House bill, and its companion in the Senate, will be the outcome of a lot of subcommittee work. As we did last year, we will do our best to keep score as things move along. Today, we report the opening bids from the administration.

The proposal for NSF overall requests a small increase, 2.4% over FY 2005 (the year we are in). The request for EHR, however, is for $737 million, down about 12.4% from the $841 million for FY 2005 (which was down from $939 million in 2004).

Where do those cuts come?

  1. MSP The budget requests $60 million for the NSF MSPs, a 24.4% reduction from this year. This will "support awards made in previous years, plus data collection, evaluation, knowledge management, and dissemination. No new partnership awards will be made in FY 2006."
  2. ESIE Requests $140.8 million, down 22.6% from 2005. The major areas affected are Instructional Materials Development ($19 million, down 33.4%) and Teacher Development ($58.8 million, down 34.9%). The stated priorities IMD for 2006 are: "In FY 2006, these projects support fewer large-scale evaluations of K-12 curricula developed with NSF support, and support no new activities to create materials for high school science and laboratory experiences, or for engineering and technology education." As for the Teacher Professional Continuum (TPC), funds are "reduced by over 45%...The program will focus on elementary science in FY 2006," and research "will be limited."
  3. REC The request for Research, Evaluation, and Communication (REC) is $33.8 million, down 43.2% from 2005. Of this, ROLE (Research on Learning and Education) is proposed to receive $24 million, $14 million less than the current year. IERI in this proposal would be cut 55%, from $12 million to $ 5.3.

To see the proposed budget, with more detail and accompanying rationales, visit:

News from ED

The U.S. Department of Education has posted a list of the 48 programs proposed for elimination in the President's 2006 budget request. Termination of these programs frees up almost $4.3 billion-based on 2005 levels. Included in the table is a brief summary of each program and the rationale for its elimination.