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
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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.”