In conjunction with the US Olympiad Team's visit to the nation's capital, AIP and AAPT sent a brief policy statement to Congress, also endorsed by the APS, the Optical Society of America, the American Astronomical Society, and the Acoustical Society of America. Members of Congress were invited to join in "celebrating the achievements of these US Physics Team students" by supporting full funding for federal programs to improve K-12 science and math education.
In the Education Department, specific funding for science and math education reform is provided through the Math and Science Partnerships program. This program was established and authorized at $450 million annually in the "No Child Left Behind" bill (now Public Law 107-110), but only received $12.5 million in FY 2002. Another $12.5 million has been requested for FY 2003. This will not be enough for the program to reach high-need school districts in all states, as it was intended to do. NSF also has its own version of Math and Science Partnerships. The NSF Partnerships, which are merit-based awards to develop model reform programs, received $160 million in FY 2002; $200 million has been requested for the coming year. A bill to authorize this program at $200 million per year was passed by the House (H.R. 1858), but the companion bill (S. 1262) has not yet passed in the Senate.
The text of the statement follows:
"We urge Congress to support K-12 science and math education, particularly programs that enable professional development for teachers and preparation of new teachers, by funding the Math and Science Partnership programs at the levels called for in authorizing legislation: $450 million for the Department of Education Partnerships in P.L. 107-110, and $200 million for the NSF Partnerships in the House-passed H.R. 1858."
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Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette