FY ’11 Funding Bill Poses Threat to History & Archival Programs

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives today brought to the floor a massive continuing resolution (H.R. 1) that would fund the federal government for the remainder of FY ’11. Agencies and programs important to the history and archival communities, such as Teaching American History Grants, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and others would see their funding slashed or eliminated.

Teaching American History Grants FY ’12 Funding

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.

Smithsonian Institution Proposed FY ’12 Budget

The Administration’s FY 2012 budget request to Congress for the Smithsonian is $861.5 million, an increase from the $761.1 million appropriated to the Institution in fiscal year 2010. The Salaries and Expenses request for FY 2012 is $636.5 million (nearly the same as 2010) and the Facilities Capital budget is $225 million, which includes $125 million for the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Archivist of the US Announces NARA Reorganization Plan

Recently, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero marked his first year in office and many of the initiatives he began since taking the helm are starting to bear fruit. Last summer, Ferriero created a staff task force to draft a plan for the “transformation” of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Ferriero recently unveiled Charting the Course, the reorganization plan for “reinventing” the National Archives.