The Fund for the Improvement of Education was designed primarily to provide competitive grants to further national education priorities. Last fiscal year, however, much of the fund was consumed by earmarked projects, which are financed at the behest of members of Congress outside the normal grant process. Here is a sampling of the earmarks for fiscal 2001:
$1.23 million-University of Maine, to develop curriculum for math and science teacher education.
$1 million-Iowa Student Aid Commission, for teacher training, recruitment, and support;
$921,000-Space Education Initiatives Inc., Green Bay, Wis., for professional development and technology programming.
$920,000-Virginia Living Museum, Newport News, Va., for an educational program.
$850,000-The Grammy Foundation, Santa Monica, Calif., for music education programs.
$841,000- Institute for Student Achievement, New York City, for establishment of programs at Holmes Middle School, Annandale High School, and Falls Church High School in Virginia.
$723,000-Sam Houston University, Huntsville, Texas, to establish a technical-assistance center for after-school programs.
$510,000-West Windsor-Plainboro Regional School District, Mercer County, N.J., for the “E=mc2" teacher-training project.
$400,000- Chester Upland School District, Chester, Pa., for recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers and teacher-candidates.
$300,000-YMCA of America, to expand dropout-prevention and mentoring programs in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.
$250,000-Opera Company of Philadelphia, for an integrated arts program.
$230,000-Fox Valley, Ill., YMCA, for Teen Agenda Programming.
Source: HR 4577, Fiscal 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act
A version of this article appeared in the November 14, 2001 edition of Education Week as No Competitors