Last week, LEARN, led the effort to send two letters to the House Rules and Appropriations Committees, respectively, in opposition to drastic cuts in research funding. As part of the House Consideration of eight of the 12 appropriations bills, an amendment by Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) was made in order that would cut overall IES funding by $195 million. This letter comes in response to Rep. Rooney’s amendment.
The letter read, in part, “We urge your leadership in opposing this amendment to maintain the level of funding in the bill for IES initiatives…. We have seen firsthand the impact that IES funding has had in producing the knowledge needed to enable our students to succeed academically. Adoption of this amendment will fundamentally damage the research structure and erode funding that IES grantees use to provide critical and proven research. A robust and sustained investment in education research and development is crucial to ensure continued progress on improving teaching and learning.”
The full letters can be accessed here: 1) LEARN Rooney Amend Letter to Rules 2) LEARN Rooney Amend letter to Appropriators
LEARN wrote the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees overseeing funding for the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In these letters, LEARN advocated for increases in fiscal year 2018 funding for these key institutes, centers and foundations which support critical education research aimed at advancing scientific understanding of learning and development.
Specific funding requests in the letters include:
- For IES, Research and Dissemination, $210 million
- For NCSER, $58.26 million
- For NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate, $948.6 million
- For NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, $293.8 million
- For NICHD, $1.42 billion
- For NIHM, $1.6 billion.
The letter regarding IES, NCSER, NICHD and NIMH funding can be accessed here: FY18 LEARN L-HHS Appropriations Letter. The letter pertaining to NSF funding can be accessed here: FY18 LEARN CJS Approps Letter.
LEARN, along with the American Educational Research Association (AERA), co-led a community sign-on letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee in support of funding for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that garnered the support of nearly 100 organizations and more than 1,500 individuals from across the country. This letter comes in response to the cut of $82 million to the IES budget proposed in the FY 2017 Labor-HHS-Education funding legislation passed by the House Appropriations Committee.
The letter read, in part, “as you consider the next steps for the FY 2017 budget, we, the undersigned individuals and organizations representing education research scientists, institutions, organizations, deans, and faculty are writing to convey our strong support to restore FY 2016 levels for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). …
We have witnessed the results of employing valid, reliable research to improving outcomes for all students, and we understand the truly detrimental impact these cuts would have. Given the importance of education to building a strong economy and meeting our nation’s commitment to equity and opportunity for all young people, we urge you to restore funding for these essential programs.”
The full letter can be accessed here: research-community-sign-on-letter-in-support-of-ies-final
On September 20, several LEARN coalition members gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual Fall Advocacy Day.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Ruth Neild, Acting Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), about the Institute’s current priorities and had the chance to ask questions about policies impacting institutions of higher education that are engaged in education research.
In the afternoon, several members participated in a series of meetings on Capitol Hill with key appropriations staff in both the House and Senate to emphasize the importance of continued funding for IES, as well as NIMH and NICHD, in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Federal budget. Funding for IES was cut significantly in the FY17 budget proposed by the House of Representatives, and these meetings were part of LEARN’s efforts to ensure that funding is restored in the final budget.
Below is a statement from the Co-Chairs of the Learning and Education Academic Research Network (LEARN) Coalition related to the House Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies funding bill. Established in 2004, LEARN is a coalition of leading research colleges of education. The LEARN Co-Chairs are:
Glenn E. Good, Dean and Professor, College of Education, University of Florida
Donna L. Wiseman, Dean, College of Education, University of Maryland
Hardin Coleman, Dean, School of Education, Boston University
For further information, contact Alex Nock at 202 618-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by the Co-Chairs of the LEARN Coalition
on the House Appropriations Committee consideration of
the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Funding Bill
“As co-chairs of the LEARN Coalition, the leading group of Deans of Education Colleges focused on research, we are gravely concerned about the proposed cuts to the research accounts at the Institute of Education Sciences. These cuts will mean no new research awards will be made, freezing the development of new research on methods to help our nation’s students learn, especially those who are the most disadvantaged. These cuts come immediately on the heels of the bipartisan passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which emphasized the use of evidence-based practices to drive better student achievement and success. As the Senate and House Committees come together in the coming months to negotiate a final 2017 appropriations bill, we urge the restoration of these cuts.”
Education Week, a leading, national source for education news, recently published a Letter to the Editor from LEARN co-chairs Dean Donna Wiseman, Dean Glenn Good, and Dean Donald Heller – along with Elizabeth Talbott from the Center for Exceptional Children – regarding the proposed cuts to education research funding contained in the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY16 Appropriations bill.
The proposed cuts, according to the letter, “would have a devastating impact on the education research community—decreasing research funding to levels not seen in 20 years,” and would do tremendous harm to “students, especially those who already face barriers to academic achievement.”
The authors urged “members of Congress and the Obama Administration [to] ensure that our federal budget reflects the national importance we place on educational equity and opportunity for all young people” and restore critical funding for education research.
Earlier this year, LEARN led the effort to draft a letter to congressional leaders urging them to restore funding for education research, which was signed by nearly 2,000 research organizations and individuals from across the country.
On October 8, representatives from more than 10 LEARN member institutions came to Washington, DC for the Coalition’s annual Fall Advocacy Day.
In the morning, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Kathleen Styles, the Chief Privacy Officer at the US Department of Education, and talk about the potential impact of proposed updates to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
In the afternoon, attendees participated in a series of meetings on Capitol Hill to talk with congressional staff and other key officials about issues important to the research community, including funding for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and ongoing efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Special thanks to the University of California, Washington Center for hosting us and to all those who attended.
Over the summer, LEARN, along with the American Educational Research Association, led the effort to draft a letter to Congress and gather signatures in opposition to drastic cuts in research funding contained in the FY2016 House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding legislation.
When it was sent to congressional leaders, on September 10, 2015, the letter had nearly 2,000 signatures from organizations and researchers across the country.
Education Week, a leading source of education news and analysis, reported on the letter under the headline “Education Researchers to Lawmakers: Don’t Cut Funding for Key Programs.”