Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proposed federal budget increases funding for science, education

Even as President Obama announced plans to freeze most non-defense discretionary spending for the next three years, he proposed a fiscal year 2011 budget Monday that increases funding for scientific research agencies, economic development activities, and several education programs of interest to U-M and the higher education community.

Overall, the budget would increase funding for basic research by nearly 6 percent. Specifically:

• The National Institutes of Health, the largest funding source for U-M research, would see its budget increase by $1 billion to approximately $32.1 billion.

More information
• For further details about these programs or other federal budget questions, contact the U-M Washington Office at 202-554-0578.
• Access the budget at: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/

• The National Science Foundation (NSF), the second-largest funding source for U-M research, would see an 8 percent increase to $7.4 billion, with additional funding particularly in energy and math and science education.

• The Department of Energy’s Office of Science would receive $5.1 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent, including $300 million for the new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and funding for a new Energy Innovation Hub.

• The basic research account at the Department of Defense would receive a sizable increase, bringing its funding to $2 billion.

• The research and development budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would increase $82 million over FY 2010, as part of an overall federal increase in climate research (the other key players in this effort include NASA and NSF).

• NASA would receive additional funding for its science programs for a total of $5 billion, as funding for human space exploration is shifted to other priorities.

• An additional $67 million would be provided for the basic science programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The president’s budget also provides an overall 7.5 percent increase for programs at the Department of Education. Specifically, the maximum Pell Grant would grow by $160 to $5,710 and would automatically increase by the rate of inflation plus one percent annually over the next decade. The president continues to support pending legislation to create an expanded, modernized Perkins Loan program. All other student financial aid, graduate programs and international education programs remain level-funded.

The budget provides $3.7 billion in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs across multiple federal agencies including the Education Department’s various K-12 programs, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the NSF’s graduate fellowship programs.

The president also proposes an increase of $266 million for the Corporation for National Service that includes increasing AmeriCorps by 105,000 members in 2011.

He provides level funding ($244 million) for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) and proposed approximately a 3 percent increase for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) to advance nursing science and help translate its innovations for improved quality patient care.

On the downside, the National Endowment for the Humanities would see a 3.7 percent cut to $162 million, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts would drop 5.6 percent to $167.5 million, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services would be cut by 5.7 percent to $266 million.

Acknowledging the significant role that universities play in innovation and economic transformation, the Obama administration also proposed $12 million go to the NSF for a new Innovation Ecosystem in which universities partner with other institutions to increase the impact of cutting-edge, university-based innovations through commercialization, industry alliances and start-up formation.

The budget also proposed continued funding for economic development programs at the Department of Commerce, including technical assistance and trade adjustment assistance to help communities and small businesses. U-M hosts centers — funded by the Economic Development Administration — that provide such assistance to cities and companies throughout the Upper Midwest.

Now that the president has proposed his budget, Congress will begin hearings on it and then spend most of the rest of the year developing the 12 FY ’11 appropriations bills needed to keep the federal government running.