AERA Speaks Out on IES Director Confirmation, 2020 Census, and Budget Caps
AERA Speaks Out on IES Director Confirmation, 2020 Census, and Budget Caps

Mark Schneider

January 2018

AERA has urged the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) to quickly confirm Mark Schneider to be the next director of the Institute of Education Sciences. IES has been without a permanent director since 2014.

In a January 30 letter to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine wrote, “While Acting Director Thomas Brock is extremely effective in this role, as was the former acting director Ruth Curran Neild, it is well past the time for a permanent director who is empowered to lead the policies and priorities of IES.”

“In our view, Dr. Schneider is an excellent nominee to lead IES,” wrote Levine. 

On January 10, AERA joined nearly 170 social science, data, and civil and human rights groups in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging him to reject the Justice Departure’s request for Acting Census Director Ron Jarmin to add a new citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

“Adding a new question on citizenship to the 2020 Census undoubtedly would affect response rates, outreach, and advertising strategies, and other important elements of the nation’s largest, most complex peacetime activity, calling into question the results of many years of costly, painstaking research and testing,” the letter said.

Following up on a coalition effort in November to urge Congress to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that raises spending caps, AERA and other member organizations of the #RaisetheCaps initiative ran a follow-up media and social media campaign from January 10 to17, calling on Congress to raise budget caps as it negotiates FY 2018 spending bills. Digital and print ads ran in key targeted outlets, including Politico, CQ Roll Call, Washington Examiner, Weekly Standard, The Hill, and Daily Caller.  (See related Highlights story: “FY 2018 Funding Extended to February 8 After Three-Day Shutdown.”) 

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