FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Fri Jul 24 16:42:03 EDT 2009

American Chemical Society supports House increase in math, science funding

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2009 — American Chemical Society (ACS) President Thomas H. Lane, Ph.D., today praised the House of Representatives for supporting a $5 million increase in funding for the Education Department’s Math and Science Partnership program, which he called a “critical educational program.”

ACS has been a leader in advocating for a funding increase for the Partnership program which it considers an integral part of federal efforts to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education across the country. The program helps improve student achievement in math and science by providing K-12 educators with high quality professional development resources and training.

Lane said U.S. Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Vern Ehlers (R-MI) were to be commended for their efforts in getting the increase passed.

“The American Chemical Society commends Rep. Holt on his successful campaign to convince his colleagues in the House to provide an additional $5 million funding for this critical education program,” Lane said. “Rush Holt has been a tireless champion in delivering real results in Congress to improve science education. We also appreciate the strong support Rep. Vern Ehlers lent to this important effort.”

The $5 million increase in funding for the program came after extensive efforts by Holt and Ehlers to persuade House Appropriations Committee members to provide additional funding for the program as the Appropriations bill for the Department of Education came before the full House this week for a final vote. Working closely with Holt and Ehlers, ACS joined with more than 70 members of the STEM Education Coalition in efforts to convince House appropriators of the merits of the Math and Science Partnership program, which has received no additional funding since 2006. The increase in funding for the program would bring total funding for this year to $184 million.

Lane said, “The Math and Science Partnership program administered by the Department of Education is the only dedicated source of funding at the DOE to provide high-quality, sustained professional development resources for K-12 educators teaching in these subjects that are so essential to U.S. competitiveness.”

The ACS also pointed out that this type of Congressional support for math and science education programs is vital to the future of reinvigorating the American scientific enterprise supported by President Barack Obama. The Society’s advocacy on behalf of the Math and Science Partnerships is part of the ACS “commitment to support basic and applied research, innovation and education.”.

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