The Teaching American History (TAH) grants program at the U.S. Department of Education will receive a modest $1 million increase under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105), that was enacted into law this week. The total budget for the program would grow to $118.9 million from the current $117.9 million. The Congress rejected the Bush administration’s request that the program be cut to $50 million.

The bill also provides $500,000 in funding for the National History Day program marking the first time the program has received federal funds.

Funding for the program has remained relatively constant for the program since FY 2004, fluctuating annually between $120 million and last year’s low of $117.9 million.

The TAH grant program improves the quality of instruction in American history. Grant awards assist elementary and secondary schools in implementing research-based methods for improving the quality of instruction, professional development, and teacher education in American history. Funds are used for competitive grants that are allocated to local education agencies (LEAs) though funding proposals must include a partnership component with an educational non-profit and/or history-based organization.