The House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee has marked up it’s FY11 appropriations bill and approved a healthy increase for the National Science Foundation. The committee approved essentially the President’s requested increase for NSF, about an 8 percent increase in FY11 vs. FY10. Here’s a breakdown. It appears that NSF’s Research and Related Activities account is slightly lower than the request ($58 million, but $343 million more than FY10), and that Education and Human Resources is bumped up by a nearly corresponding amount ($66 million more than the request, $86 million more than FY10).

Subcommittee Chair Alan Mollohan (D-WV) explained how the bill treats science and STEM Ed funding in the bill in his statement to open the markup:

For investments in science, technology and innovation, the bill provides $32.8 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion over comparable levels from last year. Within this level, the Subcommittee bill provides $7.4 billion for the National Science Foundation and $19 billion for NASA, both equal to the request. For NIST, the bill provides $882.9 million. NOAA is recommended for $5.5 billion. The Subcommittee recommendation continues to provide resources consistent with the doubling path identified for NSF and NIST in the COMPETES Act. It also considers the science and research conducted at NOAA and NASA as critical to the Nation’s science enterprise as that performed by the NSF and NIST, and investments are recommended accordingly.

Within overall science funding, the bill provides $1.5 billion to support all aspects of science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education, from kindergarten through graduate school. The bill puts a particular focus on inquiry-based instruction, broadening minority participation, and increasing graduate student fellowships.

Encouraging step. Still far from the endgame in appropriations, but about as good a start as we could’ve hoped, I think.

More details as I get them.

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