Full Budget Request from President Biden Proposes Significant Boosts for Education Research
Full Budget Request from President Biden Proposes Significant Boosts for Education Research
 
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June 2021

On May 28, the Biden administration released its full proposal to fund the federal government in its FY 2022 budget request. An initial “skinny” budget released on April 9 included the administration’s broad priorities and the top-line amounts for federal agencies. The full budget request includes significant increases for federal agencies that support education research, echoing the Biden administration’s commitment to advancing science.

“We thank the Biden administration for proposing increased investment in education research across federal agencies in its FY 2022 budget request,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “We particularly appreciate needed funding for IES to address learning gaps and mitigate impacts resulting from COVID-19. We are also pleased to see increased investments in NSF, including plans to expand the EHR Core Research program and promote racial equity in STEM education and workforce.”

Institute of Education Sciences

The FY 2022 budget request includes a nearly 15 percent increase for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), with the administration proposing $737.47 million for the agency. The $95 million increase encompasses boosts of $70 million for Research, Development, and Dissemination (RDD), $15 million for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and $10 million for a study on special education expenditures. The increase for NAEP would address costs for upcoming assessments and for research and development activities. Funding for RDD would support continuing research to understand and address the impact of lost instructional time during the COVID-19 pandemic. All other accounts within IES would be frozen at FY 2021 levels. Additional details for IES are included in Table 1.

Table 1. Institute of Education Sciences FY 2022 Budget Proposal (in millions)

 

FY 2020 Final

FY 2021 Omnibus*

FY 2022 Budget Request

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021 (%)

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021

($)

Institute of Education Sciences

$623.5

$642.5

$737.5

14.79%

$95.0

Research, Development and Dissemination

$195.9

$197.9

$267.9

35.37%

$70.0

Regional Educational Laboratories

$56.0

$57.0

$57.0

0.00%

$0.0

Statistics

$110.5

$111.5

$111.5

0.00%

$0.0

Assessment

$160.7

$172.8

$187.8

8.68%

$15.0

Statewide Data Systems

$33.0

$33.5

$33.5

0.00%

$0.0

Special Education Studies and Evaluations

$10.8

$11.3

$21.3

88.32%

$10.0

Research in Special Education

$56.5

$58.5

$58.5

0.00%

$0.0

*Excludes $28 million in supplemental funding from FY 21 omnibus for NAEP and $100 million for IES in American Rescue Plan.

 

National Science Foundation

Overall, the FY 2022 budget request includes $10.17 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), an increase of nearly 20 percent, or $1.68 billion, over the FY 2021 funding level (Table 2).

The proposal would provide $1.29 billion for the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate, a significant increase of 33 percent over the base FY 2021 appropriations level of $968 million. When accounting for a comparative view of consolidating agency-wide investments in the Graduate Research Fellowship program into EHR, the proposal represents an 18.9 percent increase compared with FY 2021. Additional funding for EHR in the budget would support activities for the EHR Core Research (ECR) program for technology use in education, educating a diverse workforce for emerging industries, and potential changes in learning due to advances in technology. In addition, EHR will support national institutes for research in artificial intelligence focused on education.

The budget request includes $8.14 billion for Research and Related Activities (R&RA), a $1.23 billion or 17.8 percent increase compared with FY 2021. As part of the proposal, NSF would establish a new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate within the R&RA account. This directorate would be funded at $864.87 million in FY 2022 and would incorporate the Small Business Innovation Research, Small Business Technology Transfer, NSF Innovation Corps, and Convergence Accelerator programs. The directorate would also establish two initiatives, Accelerating Public and Private Partnerships, which would seek to scale up partnerships, and $20 million for Racial Equity which has the goal to build partnerships within NSF and across federal agencies to advance work on broadening participation.

The proposal also includes $319.66 million for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate, an increase of $37.6 million, or 13.3 percent, over FY 2021 levels. SBE has indicated three priorities as guiding principles for the agency’s work in FY 2022: foundational research addressing national priorities, supporting the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and advancing cross-directorate activities to respond to the nation’s urgent challenges.

Table 2. National Science Foundation FY 2022 Budget Proposal (in millions)

 

FY 2020 Final

FY 2021 Final*

FY 2022 Budget Request**

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021 (%)

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021

($)

National Science Foundation

$8,278.3

$8,486.8

$10,169.3

19.8%

$1,682.5

Education and Human Resources

$940.0

$968.0

$1,287.3

33.0%

$319.3

Research and Related Activities

$6,737.2

$6,909.8

$8,139.2

17.8%

$1,229.4

*Excludes funding from the CARES Act ($76 million) and the American Rescue Plan ($600 million).
**The EHR increase accounts for a proposed program increase and proposed consolidation of cross-agency funding for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program within EHR. R&RA includes funding for new Technology, Innovations, and Partnerships Directorate

 

National Institutes of Health

The budget request includes $52 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $9 billion above the FY 2021 level (Table 3).

As part of the proposed increase for NIH, $6.5 billion would be directed to a newly established Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. ARPA-H would support high-risk, high-reward research to produce medical breakthroughs that address the nation’s health challenges. ARPA-H would be organized differently from other NIH institutes and centers, as it would make use of flexibility hiring and procurement and would provide a decision-making structure on funding that differs from the NIH peer review model.

The budget request includes $25 million—alongside the same amount at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—for NIH to support research on firearm mortality and prevention.

The budget request also includes $1.94 billion for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). When taking into account a shift of activities under the ECHO and INCLUDE programs to NICHD from the NIH Office of the Director, NICHD would see an increase of $104.92 million. As part of the institute’s FY 2022 priorities, NICHD will be supporting research that would address how COVID-19 has impacted children, including how social and emotional development may have affected family and peer interactions and the impact of technology use and screen time on child and youth development, among other topics.

Table 3. National Institutes of Health FY 2022 Budget Proposal (in billions)

 

FY 2020 Final

FY 2021 Final

FY 2022 Budget Request*

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021 (%)

FY 2022 Request v. FY 2021

($)

National Institutes of Health

$41.7

$42.9

$52.0

21.13%

$9.1

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

$1.6

$1.6

$1.9

22.14%

$0.4

*The FY 2022 increase incorporates moving the ECHO and INCLUDE programs to NICHD.

 

Next Steps

Although President Biden’s request for FY 2022 advances a strong investment in education research to support the administration’s priorities, Congress will be responsible for providing funding for federal agencies. Congressional committees have begun hearings with education secretary Miguel Cardona and NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan. It is anticipated that the House Appropriations Committee will begin holding markup hearings for FY 2022 bills in July.

AERA has joined coalition requests and submitted testimony for education research and statistics priorities for FY 2022. Details are available on the AERA website.

 
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