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Society of Women Engineers

SWE’s Advocacy Contributes to Increase in STEM Education Funding

FY18 federal budget includes significant increase for key STEM education program and maintains funding levels for basic research.

Published On: April 2018

Since the release of the Administration’s FY18 (10/1/2017 – 9/30/2018) budget request, SWE has followed the funding allocations for STEM education, basic research, and other key budget lines critical to the advancement of women in engineering. As shared in earlier posts on All Together, the Administration’s original FY18 budget request posed major cuts to STEM education and research but SWE was optimistic that these cuts would not go into full effect after watching budget subcommittee meetings in the U.S. House and Senate.

With the realization that these programs were slated for elimination under the FY18 budget request, SWE advocated for an increase in Title IV, Part A funding and for the funding level to be maintained for Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title IV, Part A provides Student Support Academic Enrichment Grants that provide adequate resources for STEM education among other vital resources for students.  Title II invests in educator and teacher professional development.

In March of 2018, the long overdue FY18 federal budget was signed into law. SWE is pleased to see funding was maintained for Title II and that Title IV, Part A of the received $1.1 billion in funding, which is a $700 million increase over the FY17 allocation level. Both programs are critical to strengthening the STEM talent pipeline within the United States workforce.

During the 2018 Congressional Outreach Days in March of 2018, SWE members and partners came to DC shortly after the release of the Administration’s FY19 budget request, which, as we shared, once again proposed the elimination of funding for Title II and Title IV, Part A. While SWE is encouraged that funding for these critical programs were maintained and/or increased in FY18, SWE will continue to advocate that FY18 levels are at least maintained in the final allocations for FY19.

Also of note is that NSF received an additional $300 million over the FY17 level and that the NSF Education and Human Resources received a $22 million increase over the FY17 level and over $140 more than originally allocated in the original FY18 budget request by the administration. NASA’s Office of Education, originally slated for elimination, was flat-funded at $100 million and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate received an 8 percent increase.

The advocacy of individual SWE members is critical to SWE’s long-term advocacy efforts. Thank you to all of those who participated in-person or remotely in SWE’s Advocacy efforts this past year.

For a breakdown of key funding allocations for budget line items SWE has been closely following and advocating for this past year, please see the chart below (published by the STEM Education Coalition). Final numbers are listed under the FY18 Omnibus column.

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