Mathematics Federal File

NASA’s Budget Seeks to Jettison a K-12 Program

By Andrew Trotter — February 19, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Education may be a core mission of the U.S. space agency, but President Bush’s fiscal 2009 budget plan wants more flexibility in how NASA targets spending in that area—and would cut NASA’s K-12 education spending by more than one-quarter.

The budget proposal for NASA calls for eliminating $12 million for a “competitive educational grant program” in elementary and secondary education.

Congress directed the agency to spend that amount in fiscal 2008 to help K-12 educators and students learn about the so-called STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to promote careers in those fields.

NASA seeks to eliminate the grants as part of a spending shift affecting its overall elementary and secondary education program, which would receive $23.8 million next fiscal year, compared with $32.1 million in 2008, a decrease of 26 percent.

Total education spending by the space agency, which includes programs for colleges and universities, learners in informal settings, and visitors to NASA facilities, would be $115.6 million in 2009, compared with $146.8 million this year, a 21 percent decrease.

NASA’s overall budget would rise 2.9 percent to $17.6 billion in fiscal 2009, under the Bush administration’s budget plan.

The agency’s “flight projects”— $1 million for student-learning activities, such as balloon launches, related to aeronautics and space—would be merged with NASA’s $1.5 million educator-astronaut project. That project includes the educational activities of its four educator-astronauts, notably former teacher Barbara R. Morgan, and a network of NASA-savvy teachers.

Ms. Morgan went on a 13-day mission aboard Endeavour last August, the first space shuttles to launch after a nearly 6-year hiatus. She led video “downlink” sessions with students on Earth, and the shuttle transported seeds that are being used in a K-12 engineering design challenge. (“Teacher-Turned-Astronaut to Deliver Educational Payload,” July 11, 2007.)

The merged projects would receive $4.1 million in the fiscal 2009 proposal to provide more activities for students, NASA officials said.

A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2008 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Mathematics What the Research Says Textbooks Need More Real-World Math Exercises, Study Finds
A study of 8th grade textbooks in the United States and 18 other countries says most rely too much on basic computation problems.
4 min read
Image of a student working on match equations.
Mathematics How to Use Real-World Problems to Teach Elementary School Math: 6 Tips
Elementary students in some schools are using math to try to solve real problems, helping them see its practical applications.
3 min read
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty
Mathematics Ditch Those Math Worksheets. The Case for Teaching Real-World Problem Solving in K-5
Connecting math to real-world problems gives students a more sophisticated understanding of how math works.
8 min read
conceptual illustration of falling Tetris blocks
Mathematics Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Math Instruction?
Answer 7 questions to see how much you know about math instruction.