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The negotiations over FY 2016 appropriations are finally complete. NASA's top line is up 7%; planetary and Earth sciences enjoy increases, while astrophysics is flat and heliophysics is down. NSF's top line is up 1.6%.

A two-hour workshop will be offered twice on Wednesday, 6 January, to provide authors and referees with crucial information about publishing in the Astronomical Journal and the Astrophysical Journal.

The Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy, which operates northern and southern 1-meter telescopes, would like to engage at least one new institutional member. Apply by 1 March 2016.

A new "focus issue" of Physics World, published by the Institute of Physics in the UK, shines a spotlight on exciting developments — and difficult challenges — in astronomy and space science.

The upcoming 227th AAS meeting, 4-8 January 2016, offers workshops, sessions, posters, tutorials, and discussions that focus on many aspects of astronomical software — and Hack Day, too!

Mercedes Richards (Pennsylvania State University) has stepped down from the AAS Council; the Executive Committee has appointed Nancy Chanover (New Mexico State University) to finish her term.

The Every Student Succeeds Act reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, rewrites No Child Left Behind, and aims to strengthen education in science, technology, engineering, and math.

When you buy items on Amazon's Holiday Toy List at smile.amazon.com, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the American Astronomical Society.

Meg Urry

Data show only a weak correlation between Graduate Record Exam scores and success in grad school. Worse, there are stronger correlations of score with gender and race.

Community input is needed to determine what optical/infrared supporting capabilities will be needed to maximize the science enabled by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Deadline: 15 January 2016.

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