President and Congress Approve Largest Increase to Federal Research Funding in a Decade

Excerpted from Education Week, March 23, 2018

On March 23, President Trump signed into law a $1.3 trillion spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, that approved the largest increase to federal research funding in a decade. The $176.8 billion in research funding is an increase of $20.8 billion or 12.8% above the fiscal 2017 enacted level.

The U.S. Department of Education received a $2.6 billion boost up to $70.9 billion, including more money for educator development, after-school programs, and special education, among other programs. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation also received substantial increases.

Below are some highlights of the spending bill.

  • The National Institutes of Health receives a $3 billion boost to $37 billion.
  • The National Science Foundation receives a $295 million increase to $7.8 billion.
  • U.S. Department of Education receives a $2.6 billion boost up to $70.9 billion.
  • Title I, the biggest pot of federal money for public schools, which is earmarked for disadvantaged students, is rising by $300 million up to $15.8 billion.
  • Special education grants go up by $299 million to $13.1 billion.
  • Head Start funding is increased by $610 million to $9.8 billion.
  • The Child Care Development Block Grant is increased by $2.37 billion to $5.2 billion.
  • The Education Innovation and Research program (EIR), which helps test promising practices at the district level, receives $120 million, including $50 million for STEM and the remaining for other projects.
  • Preschool Development Grants were level-funded at $250 million.