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Starbase sees another threat

The reprieve for Starbase might be temporary.

A day after the U.S. Senate rejected legislation to eliminate the federal science and technology program for fifth-graders, the director of Starbase Indiana in Fort Wayne said he had been told the White House plans to shift the program from the Department of Defense to the Department of Education.

“We’re under the impression that if it moves under the Department of Education, it would effectively dismantle the program because it would no longer be at the military installations nationwide,” Scott Liebhauser said Tuesday in a phone interview.

A White House official would not confirm the plan, saying that details of President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal have not been made public.

But the office of Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., released a Feb. 15 letter he wrote to the White House Office of Management and Budget saying he had been told OMB might transfer Starbase to the Department of Education or the National Science Foundation.

Either shift “would likely kill an important and successful program,” Levin wrote.

Starbase Indiana is among nearly 80 academies at military bases that teach elementary-school students about STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The local lab is at the Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing on Ferguson Road, where Starbase projects have involved robotics, rocketry and computer-aided design.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Brian Francisco

Washington editor

The reprieve for Starbase might be temporary.

A day after the U.S. Senate rejected legislation to eliminate the federal science and technology program for fifth-graders, the director of Starbase Indiana in Fort Wayne said he had been told the White House plans to shift the program from the Department of Defense to the Department of Education.

“We’re under the impression that if it moves under the Department of Education, it would effectively dismantle the program because it would no longer be at the military installations nationwide,” Scott Liebhauser said Tuesday in a phone interview.

A White House official would not confirm the plan, saying that details of President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal have not been made public.

But the office of Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., released a Feb..15 letter he wrote to the White House Office of Management and Budget saying he had been told OMB might transfer Starbase to the Department of Education or the National Science Foundation.

Either shift “would likely kill an important and successful program,” Levin wrote.

Starbase Indiana is among nearly 80 academies at military bases that teach elementary-school students about STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The local lab is at the Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing on Ferguson Road, where Starbase projects have involved robotics, rocketry and computer-aided design.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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