The U.S. Senate gave final passage on Saturday to an overdue spending bill for the 2015 fiscal year that provides modest increases for research, while holding education spending mostly flat.
The compromise bill, which averts a government shutdown, finances most of the federal government through September 30. The Department of Homeland Security, which provides some research money to universities, was funded on a shorter-term basis.
The bill includes a one-year increase of $172-million for the National Science Foundation, and about $150-million for the National Institutes of Health, the leading provider of basic research money to American universities.
It cuts spending on Pell Grants by $303-million, shifting most of that money into student-loan servicing. While the maximum Pell award will still increase by $100, to $5,830, in the coming year, the cut will add to expected shortfalls down the road. <Read more.>