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Departments Of Labor, Health And Human Services, And Education, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill and my Amendment to increase the Math and Science Partnership program funding by $5 million.

I want to thank Chairman Obey for including my amendment in the manager's amendment before us today. This program is the federal government's only generally available math and science teacher training program. By providing more resources to the Math and Science Partnership program at the Department of Education the program would be able to expand to additional schools across the county, and countless students would benefit from improved instruction in these critical subject areas. If our economy is going to grow, if our productivity is going to grow, we must do better in math and science education.

Mr. Chair, this $5 million increase in funding is long overdue, and yet still far short of what is needed. We are not doing nearly enough in this area, and everyone says so.

The Glenn Commission, on which I was honored to serve said so, the National Academies of Science have said so. And the recently released report by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study entitled ``The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy'' called for increasing the ``supply of well-prepared teachers of mathematics and science at all grad levels by improving teacher preparation .....''

That is why representative Ehlers and I led a letter to the House Appropriations Committee to increase funding for the Math and Science Partnership program to $450 million that was joined by 23 Members of Congress.

In 2002, prior to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Eisenhower program provided $485 million for teacher professional development primarily in science and math. Yet, today the Math and Science Partnership program is funded at less than half that level at only $179 million.

Earlier this year, Education Secretary Duncan stated that ``science education is central to our broad effort to restore American leadership in Education worldwide'' and yet the budget proposal from the Department flat funded this essential training program again.

We need to change this cycle of recognizing problems, identifying solutions, and then failing to act.

My amendment was offered to increase funding for the Math and Science Partnerships program, and I know all too well that the $5 million included will not solve the problem.

I hope this serves as recognition that we cannot be a global economic power unless we make the appropriate investments in education, with special focus on math and science education. We may never know how many students could have benefited over the past seven years from full funding, but I hope that we will soon be able to restore funding to this program to its pre-2002 levels.

Again, I want to thank the Chairman for including my amendment and I urge my colleagues to support the amendment and the underlying bill.

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