Obama’s 2014 Science Budget Proposal Revitalizes STEM Education, Reduces Environmental Conservation

The President’s plan for next year would give a boost to infrastructure, manufacturing and education in exchange for land conservation and environmental cleanup efforts


ByErin Brodwin

The plan for 2014 President Obama’s budget proposal reflects some of the goals he outlined in his 2013 State of the Union address, including an overhaul of the way science and math are taught in American schools.

Among the winners in Pres. Barack Obama’s 2014 federal budget: the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Education and National Science Foundation (NSF). The losers include agribusiness and the Environmental Protection Agency. Obama’s plan, announced April 11, is less a vision for a progressive science agenda than a reflection of political reality—specifically, the fact that he still must work with a conservative Congress. The budget gives a boost to science education and research, long-standing administration priorities. In a nod to fiscal conservatives it trims administrative costs and slashes subsidies for agribusiness. On the matter of fossil fuels, however, it largely maintains the status quo, preserving funding for drilling and fracking. Here’s a quick list of winners, losers and how the new White House budget would affect them.

The winners:

The Department of Education: Prioritizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning by creating a STEM Master Teaching Corps, an advisory group, as well as gives science research institutions a direct role in influencing curricula in K–12 schools and funneling young people to careers in those subjects. The $71-billion plan includes $7.6 billion for collaboration among the NSF, the Smithsonian Institution and schools from the K–12 through graduate levels.


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