We report results on new absolute cross section measurements for electron impact excitation of the two lowest 3s[3/2]1 and 3s′[1/2]1, optically-allowed electronic-state levels in neon. Those measurements were conducted at eight specific energies in the 20-300 eV energy range. The present results, at the integral cross section level, strongly support those from the recent large-scale B-spline R-matrix computations [O. Zatsarinny, K. Bartschat, Phys. Rev. A 86 (2012) 022717], and resolve a serious discrepancy that had existed between earlier experimental results and theory. Some discrepancies in the differential cross sections, at middle and backward angles, are however still noted.