House Education Appropriations Bill Includes Proposed Cuts to IES —AERA Presses for Restoration
 
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July 2016

On July 14, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS), and Education spending bill for the 2017 fiscal year (FY). The legislation would cut funding for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by $82 million, or 13.3 percent, from $618 million to $536 million for FY 2017. As reported in the June AERA Highlights, the Senate version of the bill calls for a much smaller cut—$5.5 million—to IES, down 1 percent from FY 2016.

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee members stating opposition to the cuts to IES.

“These cuts would have a major impact on the education research community and would negatively affect the production of knowledge for years to come,” Levine wrote. “If these cuts are part of a final budget agreement, the biggest losers will be students across the country who would otherwise benefit from advances in research and from the cumulative, well-warranted knowledge that enable them to succeed.”

The bulk of the cuts for IES in the House bill are for Research, Development, and Dissemination, which would see a cut of $40.5 million. The National Assessment of Educational Progress and the National Assessment Governing Board would see a combined decrease of $20.5 million from FY 2016. The following table includes detailed information on the various funding proposals for IES:

Appropriations Proposals for IES (in $ millions)

 

FY 2016 (enacted)

FY 17 President Request

FY 17 Senate (proposed)

FY 17 House (proposed)

IES Total

618

694

612

536

Research, Development, and Dissemination

195

209

190

154

Statistics

112

125

112

103

Regional Educational Laboratories

54

54

54

54

Research in Special Education

54

54

54

49

Special Education Studies and Evaluation

11

13

11

11

Statewide Data Systems

35

81

35

27

Assessment

157

157

156

137

During the House Labor-HHS subcommittee’s markup of the bill on July 7, subcommittee ranking member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced an amendment that would restore funding for the programs targeted for cuts in the bill to FY 2016 levels. The amendment was rejected on a party-line vote. Rep. DeLauro introduced a similar amendment at the full committee markup to restore funding for some programs slated for cuts—including IES.

While this marks the second year in a row that a Labor-HHS bill has moved through the full committee, the likelihood of a House vote is low. The growing expectation on Capitol Hill is that funding for FY 2017 eventually will be advanced in a continuing resolution.

AERA has engaged in several activities in seeking increased funding for IES:

  • The Friends of IES, led by AERA, sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee members earlier this year, seeking $728 million for IES for FY 2017.
  • A Dear Colleague letter led by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Michael Honda (D-CA) garnered 27 signatures of members of Congress in support of funding IES at $728 million.
  • AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine submitted testimony to the subcommittee in April in addition to the letter of serious concern sent on July 14.
 
 
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