Administration's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request Is Promising

Earlier this month the Administration released its budget request for the 2011 Fiscal Year, which will start October 1 (whether or not Congress finishes the budget by then). While the President promised a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending, he did not promise it would be an across-the-board freeze. So initial concerns that science budgets would feel the pinch have not come true. Peter Harsha, as usual, has a good analysis of the numbers on the CRA Government Affairs Blog. The 1-2 combination of snowfalls has put a pause to budget briefings, but there are already some clear indications of what should come in the next fiscal year, if Congress agrees.

The budget request will maintain the doubling trend for the three science agencies targeted in President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative and the subsequent America COMPETES Act (up for reauthorization this year). Budgets for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, and the Office of Science at the Department of Energy are on pace to finish the doubling that started in 2007 by Fiscal Year 2017. Cameron’s recent post describes changes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education proposed in the budget, and Peter’s analysis gives specific details about the increases to various computing research programs. Both are worth reading.