Does Washington finally get it?

The new Congress and the Administration may be in sync to increase funding for science, technology, and engineering, and math in '08.

The FY 2008 House Budget Resolution provides a nearly $2 billion increase in spending for scientific research, which translates into funding of the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Energy Office of Science according to the Information Technology Industry Council.

A second area where funding would be increased is in developing homegrown math and science talent. Congress has proposed to fund Function 500, the function for Education, Training, and Employment at $7.9 billion over what the White House requested. According to a letter to Nancy Pelosi from the Information Technology Association of America’s President Philip J. Bond, the ITAA supports the proposed increase in funding for educating new scientists, engineers, and mathematicians and to place highly qualified teachers in classrooms. ITAA points out that the funding for R&D “in turn gives rise to the millions of dollars invested by the private sector each year.”

Additional support and assistance was offered by the organization that boasts a membership of 225,000 engineers in the US and 360,000 members worldwide. The IEEE-USA sees this funding as essential to preserving and enhancing America’s competitive edge in an increasingly aggressive global economy.

Bottom line, we’re talking national security, quality of life, and America’s ability to compete against other nations who have dramatically increased their spending in research and education.