House Committee Advances IES Reauthorization Bill

April 2014

The House Education and Workforce Committee advanced the proposed reauthorization bill for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the Strengthening Education through Research Act (SETRA), by a voice vote on April 8.

AERA is currently examining the proposed legislation in light of the report and recommendations that AERA issued on IES reauthorization in 2011.

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine emphasized that “IES is vital to the production of foundational knowledge on which sound educational practice and policy relies. We are taking the time to ensure that this important agency and the National Center for Education Statistics are buttressed by a reauthorization bill that will well serve their missions. We are working with other research societies and leaders in the science community to do the due diligence that this bill deserves.”

Overall, the bill would maintain the current structure of IES. SETRA also includes language that would set authorization levels for IES programs through the 2020 fiscal year. In the case of the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation, and the Regional Educational Laboratories, proposed funding would not return to pre-sequester 2012 levels until the 2019 fiscal year (see table below).

Although there has been no move to reauthorize IES in the Senate, reports suggest that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee may take action on a bill pending a House vote on a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.

Appropriations Proposed in SETRA, Compared With Previous and Current Appropriations
(millions of U.S. dollars)

Note. SETRA = Strengthening Education through Research Act; IES = Institute of Education Sciences; NCSER = National Center for Special Education Research; SLDS = State Longitudinal Data Systems; NCES = National Center for Education Statistics; NCER = National Center for Education Research; NCEE = National Center for Education Evaluation; RELs = Regional Educational Laboratories; NAEP = National Assessment of Educational Progress; NAGB = National Assessment Governing Board.