Pelosi Appoints Dr. Matthew Wasniewski as New House Historian

On October 20, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the appointment of Dr. Matthew Wasniewski as the new Historian of the House of Representatives. Dr. Wasniewski, who currently serves as the historian in the House Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation, received the unanimous recommendation of the House Historian Search Committee appointed by Speaker Pelosi with the input of House Republican Leader John Boehner who concurred on the appointment.

History Organizations Fight to Save Teaching American History Grants

In July, the National Coalition for History (NCH), and ten other NCH members joined forces with over 20 educational organizations representing other K-12 academic disciplines in issuing a statement to Congress and the Administration calling for the continued robust funding of core academic subjects including history. This includes maintenance of discrete budget lines—such as the Teaching American History grants—for each discipline.

Federal Agencies Release “Open Government Plans”

On April 7, federal agencies released “Open Government Plans” detailing how they will make their operations and data more transparent and expand opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration and oversight. In addition, each agency identified at least one “flagship initiative” – a signature open government innovation in the agency. The plans were mandated by President Obama’s Open Government Directive issued in December 2009.

Teaching American History Grants Face Uncertain Future

President Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request to Congress for the Department of Education has created uncertainty about future funding for the Teaching American History grants program, at least as it is currently structured. The Obama administration has proposed consolidating 38 existing K-12 education programs into 11 new programs. As a result, Teaching American History grants is no longer listed as a separate line item in the budget calling into question whether the program will continue to receive the approximately $119 million in funding it has in recent years.

FY 2010 Teaching American History Grants Competition Underway

On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education announced the opening of the fiscal year 2010 Teaching American History (TAH) grant competition. The deadline for “Notice of Intent to Apply” is February 22, 2010. The deadline for the transmittal of applications is March 22, 2010, and the deadline for intergovernmental review is May 21, 2010. Potential applicants are strongly advised to read the full notice in the Federal Register by clicking here or visit the TAH Web site.