A delegation of 10 AERA members met with key congressional offices on March 6 and 7 to advocate for federal support for education research. Participating AERA members were selected based on several factors including being a constituent in strategic congressional districts, a recipient of federal funding, and, collectively, representing a broad range of policy-relevant topic areas, methodologies, and expertise.
AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine, Government Relations Director Juliane Baron, and Program Associate Christy Talbot led the delegation meetings, underscoring the importance of investing in education research.
On Capitol Hill, the delegation teams met with 35 legislative staff members serving in House and Senate committees and personal offices with jurisdiction over agencies funding education research—the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department of Education, the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) at the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.
Delegation members shared examples of their research and how federal funds help inform education policy decisions, improve student and school performance, and advance the field of education science.
One of the delegation members, Hunter Boylan, director of the National Center for Developmental Education and professor of higher education at Appalachian State University, visited Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee.
The delegation also had the opportunity to meet with officials at the Office of Management and Budget as well as with with Tom Brock, delegated director of IES, and Jim Lewis, the acting assistant director for EHR.
In addition to Boylan, members of the AERA delegation included: Eleanor Abrams, University of New Hampshire; Wade Boykin, Howard University and AERA Government Relations Committee Chair; Joshua Brown, Fordham University; Bradley Curs, University of Missouri; Ellen Goldring, Vanderbilt University; André Green, University of South Alabama; Barbara Greene, University of Oklahoma; Jamaal Matthews, Montclair State University; and Ruth Lopez Turley, Rice University
“As the debate on the budget begins to unfold, the examples that AERA members shared to highlight the importance of federal funding for education research may stop offices from targeting these critical investments for cuts,” AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine said. “Whether through research grants, data collection, or professional development opportunities, federal investment is critical to build an evidence base that supports the needs of students, teachers, and leaders.”
Many of the delegation members will participate in a session at the 2017 AERA Annual Meeting in San Antonio titled “Advocating for Education Research – Perspectives from the 2017 AERA Hill Delegation.”
Front Row: Juliane Baron, Jamaal Matthews, Christy Talbot, Barbara Greene, Ruth Topez Turley, Ellen Goldring
Back Row: Bradley Curs, Wade Boykin, Joshua Brown, Hunter Boylan, André Green