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Obama Releases Budget for FY 2016
 
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February 2015

On February 2, the Obama administration released a $4.1 trillion budget for FY 2016. The budget shows a strong commitment to evidence-based policy making and investment in research and development. Agencies of greatest interest to the field of education science fared well in the President’s request:

  • Institute of Education Sciences of the Department of Education: 17% increase, from $574 million in FY 2015 to $676 million in FY 2016

  • Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation: 11% increase, from $866 million in FY 2015 to $963 million in FY 2016

  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: More than a 2% percent increase, from $1,283 million in FY 2015 to $1,318 million in FY 2016.

The education research community should be pleased with the proposed budget, but it is far from a done deal. It does not reflect the sequestration cuts slated to take effect in FY 2016 as the bipartisan budget agreement negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) expires at the end of FY 2015. The Budget Control Act of 2011 established budget caps for 2016–2021, triggering automatic funding reduction for both discretionary and mandatory spending.

AERA is concerned that sequestration will disproportionately cut nondefense discretionary spending, including the federal investment in education research. As a member of the Committee for Education Funding and NDD United, AERA signed a letter urging Congress and the President to end sequestration and to balance budget reductions equally between nondefense and defense programs.

On March 16 and 17, a delegation of AERA members from key congressional districts will meet with Capitol Hill staff to express support for federal funding for education research and to share concerns about additional sequestration cuts to nondefense discretionary budgets.

 
 
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