2014 U.S. Fiscal Budget to Include $3 Billion for STEM Programs
While a six percent increase in funding to $3 Billion is mostly good news for STEM (science, technology, education, and math) programs across the United States, some cuts in other science education programs are causing concern in Washington. Let’s take a look at the details of the 2014 US fiscal year budget as it concerns STEM education.
US Government Consolidates STEM Education into Three Agencies
One of the items in next year’s budget involves the consolidation of STEM education oversight in the United States into three separate agencies — the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institute. The hope is that getting rid of overlap and redundancy improves operational efficiencies.
This consolidation comes at the expense of educational programs offered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). The NIH-managed Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) is one of the most notable cuts. SEPA programs provide science learning resources for millions of students all over the United States.
Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director at the NIH, commented on the budget cuts. “Facing extraordinary budget uncertainties, it’s a question of prioritization. We continue to feel that K-12 STEM education is extremely important, and we want to do what we can to make sure any new programs launched are accurate and reflect the most recent modern science,” said Tabak.
STEM Education is Vital for the Country
The Senate Appropriations Committee remains concerned with the SEPA program removal as well as the additional loss in funding to the NIH, and are trying to reverse those cuts. When also considering the cuts related to the sequestration, the NIH and other STEM programs are worried about how to provide a similar level of STEM education to K-12 students in the United States.
Given the benefits science, technology, and mathematics provide to the country as a whole, the Government — and its budget — need to reflect that importance. If you want to engage your career in STEM-related industries, be sure to talk to the knowledgeable people at Scientific Search. One of the leading technical staffing agencies in the Mid-Atlantic region, we have the experts on hand to help further your career.