The House last week approved a bill to renew the law that governs the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that supports a broad range of programs in mathematics and science education.
The bill, approved by a 399-17 vote on May 2, would reauthorize the law that allows the Arlington, Va.-based agency to operate. It is set to expire in September. The bill was passed one week after both the House and Senate moved separate measures aimed at strengthening the teaching of math and science, through new ventures in teacher recruitment, professional development, and support for teacher colleges. (“Math-Science Bills Advance in Congress,” May 2, 2007.)
Several of the provisions included in those “competitiveness” bills are expansions of existing programs housed within the NSF; lawmakers have thus argued that reauthorizing the NSF, and leaving current math and science programs at the agency intact, is important to accomplishing their broader legislative goals. The NSF’s math and science programs are housed within the agency’s education directorate, which is left intact in the reauthorization bill and has a total budget of $2.8 billion.
A version of this article appeared in the May 09, 2007 edition of Education Week