AERA “Days on the Hill” Drive Advocacy for Education Research
AERA “Days on the Hill” Drive Advocacy for Education Research
March 2018

Left to right: Juliane Baron, Catherine Horn,
Paige Whalen, Troy Sadler, Jakita Thomas,
Felice Levine, Ellen Meier, Christy Talbot 

An invited delegation of AERA members who receive federal funding, come from strategic congressional districts, and offer diverse expertise visited Capitol Hill on March 5 and 6 to ask Congress to support agencies that fund education research and data. The meetings also included conversation on two timely topics—the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and student data privacy.

AERA members met with more than 30 staff from key congressional offices, including committee staff overseeing appropriations and authorization of AERA priority research agencies, including the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Delegation members also met with the congressional offices that represent them in Congress.

Delegation members, led by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine, Government Relations Director Juliane Baron, and Program Associate Christy Talbot, provided examples of the research and evidence that are possible thanks to grants and the statistical infrastructure supported by IES, NSF, and NIH.

“These meetings helped raise the visibility and importance of investing in education research at a time when Congress is actively discussing funding for FY 2018 and 2019,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “AERA members as constituents spoke to the value of federal funding in the districts and states of the congressional offices with which they met.”

During the course of the two days, the delegation also had the opportunity to meet with officials at the U.S. Department of Education, including Tom Brock, delegated director of IES, as well as with Karen King, a program director for the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate.

Members of the AERA delegation included: Douglas Fuchs (Vanderbilt University), Catherine Horn (University of Houston), Ellen Meier (Teachers College, Columbia University), Laura Perna (University of Pennsylvania), Troy Sadler (University of Missouri and University of North Carolina Greensboro), Jakita Thomas (Auburn University), and Paige Whalen (Center for Community School Strategies, Oklahoma).

Whalen described the role of research and data that enables her to provid evidence-based resources to students in community schools in Tulsa.

For AERA members who are making their own visits to Capitol Hill or are making visits in district offices, the following documents provide the funding asks and legislative interests for AERA for this year