President Obama released a $3.7 trillion budget plan for fiscal year (FY) 2012 on 14 February 2010. The budget proposal would trim deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. To help accomplish this goal, non-security discretionary spending would be held steady for five years. Additionally, civilian government workers would be subject to a two year pay freeze.
Innovation, education, and climate change are again pervasive themes in the President’s budget. Despite the budget freeze, spending on non-defense research and development would increase by 6.5 percent. The budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories would collectively increase by 12.2 percent. Other agencies and programs would be cut to offset proposed increases. Although most science agencies are spared top-line cuts, the Environmental Protection Agency is slated for a $1.3 billion reduction.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education would collectively receive $3.4 billion in FY 2012 from various government agencies. Some of these funds would be used to train 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade.
The multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program would receive $2.6 billion (+20.3 percent). New funding would be used to create a new National Climate Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability initiative would grow by 33.0 percent to advance climate and energy science and education.
Download the full analysis of the FY 2012 budget at http://www.aibs.org/public-policy/resources/AIBS_Budget_Report_FY_2012.pdf.