Congress targets education in NSF budget



Education was overwhelmingly on the minds of the House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Science as it examined the National Science Foundation's budget at a hearing February 20. “Science and engineering education continues to be a focus of particular interest to this subcommittee,” said the new chairman, Rick Boucher (D-Va.). “We are pleased to note a 21% increase in the FY 1992 budget request for the NSF education directorate.” The subcommittee directed most of its questions at how NSF will spend this increase.

Ron Packard (R-Calif.), the subcommittee's ranking minority member, asked about NSF's math and science education initiative, particularly the agency's plans for undergraduate education and teacher training. Luther Williams, NSF assistant director for education and human resources, sketched the agency's plans to improve teacher competency, to train the next generation of teachers, and to foster teacher networking. Frederick M. Bernthal, NSF acting director, said the agency's high performance computing initiative could “revolutionize” math and science teaching.