National Endowment for the Humanities
Agency Description The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1965. As one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States, NEH provides critical support for research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities through grants to a wide range of educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and individual scholars nationwide. NEH grants are awarded in every state and territory of the United States. [www.neh.gov]
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to provide no less than $155 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. This increase is essential because demand for NEH support routinely outstrips available funds. In FY 2015, NEH received 4,928 competitive grant applications representing more than $482.8 million in requested funds, but was only able to fund 15.4% of these peer-reviewed proposals.
Current funding status The FY 2016 omnibus spending bull provided $147.9 million in funding for NEH. This was a nearly $2 million increase from the FY 2015 amount of $146 million. Despite the increase, NEH’s funding has declined by 19%, when adjusted for inflation, over the past six years. For FY 2017, President Obama requested $149.8 million for NEH.
National Historical Publications & Records Commission
Program Description The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), commonly referred to as the ”grant-making arm” of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), was established by Congress in 1934, along with NARA, to promote the preservation and use of the American documentary record. NHPRC grants support a wide range of activities to preserve and increase access to historical records and to publish, in print and/or electronically, the papers of significant figures and themes relating to the history of the U.S. [www.archives.gov/nhprc]
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to provide at least $5 million for the NHPRC grants program. NHPRC funding has not recuperated from major cuts in FY 2011 and FY 2012.
Current Funding Status The FY 2016 omnibus funding bill provided $5 million in funding for NHPRC. NHPRC suffered a major cut in FY 2011, reducing its appropriation from $13 million to $7 million, and then another cut for FY 2012 that decreased its budget to $5 million. For FY 2017, President Obama requested $5 million for the NHPRC.
Institute of Museum & Library Services
Agency Description The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. In addition to grant making, IMLS provides critical leadership to the museum and library communities through support for research and policy development. Its Office of Museum Services (OMS) awards grants to museums to support educating students, preserving collections, coordinating resources, and digitizing collections. IMLS also administers the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which consolidates federal library programs while expanding services for learning and access to information resources. [http://www.imls.gov]
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to support full funding for the Institute of Museum & Library Services, including full funding for the Office of Museum Services, which is authorized at $38.6 million.
Current Funding Status The FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill provided $230 million to IMLS, which included $31.2 million for the Office of Museum Services and $182.7 million for the Office of Library Services. For FY 2017, the Obama Administration requested $230 million for IMLS, including $32 million for the Office of Museum Services.
International Education Programs
Program Description (Title VI/Fulbright-Hays) The U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies (IEFLS) programs, including HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs, form the vital infrastructure of the federal government's investment in the international service pipeline. The 14 IEFLS programs support comprehensive language and area study centers, international business centers and language resource centers within the United States; research and curriculum development; opportunities for American students and scholars to study abroad; and activities to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in international service. Administrative responsibility for these programs falls under the Office of Postsecondary Education, International Education Programs. [http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/index.html]
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to reject President Obama’s proposed cuts to the Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Programs (HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays) and fund these programs at a minimum of $76 million dollars. Despite a proven record of success, these programs have sustained disproportionate cuts in recent years, and it is critical to begin to restore their capacity.
Current Funding Status The FY 2016 omnibus spending bill provided $72.164 million for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays international Education programs. This was the same amount the programs received in FY 2015 and FY 2014. President Obama has requested a reduction to $65.1 million in funding for the IFLE programs. His request includes level funding for HEA Title VI-A&B ($65.103) but a major decrease for Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6) to $2.168 million.
Library of Congress
Agency Description The Library of Congress (LOC) is the largest and most comprehensive legislative and national library in the world. Created and sustained by Congress for 213 years, through every period of the nation’s history, the Library of Congress is America’s oldest federal cultural institution. It stands as both a symbol and a working institution of fundamental importance for our knowledge-based democracy—preserving and making available vital resources for scholars, educators, students, policymakers, and individual citizens. [www.loc.gov]
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to support President Obama’s request of $713.03 million in funding for the Library of Congress.
Current funding status The FY 2016 omnibus spending bill provided $635.69 million in funding for the Library of Congress, an increase from the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill, which provided $630.85 million. For FY 2017, President Obama requested $713.03 million for the Library of Congress.
History and Civics Education
Program Description The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, signed into law December 2015, includes funding lines for K-12 history and civics education—the first dedicated funding lines for these subjects since the “Teaching American History Grants” were eliminated in FY 2012. One new funding line would go to a grant program that promotes evidence-based strategies to encourage innovative American history, geography, and civics instruction. These grants are to emphasize programs that benefit low-income students and underserved populations. Another funding line would go to “Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History”, intensive academies for teachers and students to learn more about civics.
Action Needed For FY 2017, we urge Congress to fund the history and civics programs under Subpart B of the Every Student Succeeds Act at their authorized sum of $6.6 million. President Obama requested funding only for the Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History ($1 million dollars) and no funding for the grant programs to promote innovative approaches.