The President’s fiscal year 2012 budget request for the Department of Education once again eliminates Teaching American History grants (TAH) as a separately funded program. As it did in FY ’11 the Administration proposed consolidating history education into a new program called Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education. However, TAH faces a more immediate threat. All $119 million in current year funding for TAH would be cut in the FY ’11 continuing resolution under consideration on the House floor.
In FY ’11 the Administration proposed $265 million in funding for the new initiative. In FY ’12 that amount would be reduced to $246 million. The Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education program would support competitive grants to States, high-need LEAs, and nonprofit partners to develop and expand innovative practices to improve teaching and learning of the arts, foreign languages, history, government, economics and financial literacy, environmental education, physical education, health education, and other subjects. There would be no dedicated funding for any of the disciplines.
It is important to remember this reorganization is dependent on the passage of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the law that governs K-12 education. Congress is expected to attempt a rewrite of the law later this year.