President's Budget Request Proposes Deep Cuts for Education Research
President's Budget Request Proposes Deep Cuts for Education Research

March 2019

President Donald Trump released his budget request for the 2020 fiscal year on March 11. Overall, the proposed budget includes massive cuts for nondefense spending, including for agencies that support education research and statistical programs.

The proposal calls for a 15 percent cut for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which would be funded at $521.6 million, down from $615.5 million in FY 2019. Just as with FY 2019, the request includes a plan to eliminate the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program and the Regional Educational Laboratories. The Statistics line would see a $3 million increase, achieved by reallocating funds from the Privacy Technical Assistance Center into this category.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be funded at $33.5 billion, a cut of 12 percent, or $4.5 billion, from the FY 2019 level of $39.1 billion. Within NIH, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) would receive nearly $1.3 billion, a cut of 13.8 percent, or $210 million, compared to the FY 2019 level.

The budget includes a proposed 12.5 percent cut overall for the National Science Foundation.  The Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) would receive $823.5 million, a decrease of 9.5 percent from FY 2019. The proposal includes cuts for the EHR Core Research program and would transfer funds for several programs, including ADVANCE and Computer Science for All, to EHR from the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account. Overall, R&RA would be decreased by 13 percent, or $857 million, including an 8 percent cut for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate. 

The president’s budget request typically is released in February but was delayed this year due to the government shutdown, which impacted the Office of Management and Budget.

AERA is actively advocating for Congress to reach a deal to increase the budget caps for FY 2020 and 2021, and for increased funding for agencies supporting education research. As a member of the Coalition for National Science Funding, AERA joined a letter requesting $9 billion for NSF and, as a leading organizer for the Friends of IES, sent a letter to appropriators reiterating a request for $670 million for IES. AERA also signed a letter from the Invest in What Works Coalition that includes the $670 million request for IES. As a member of the Friends of NICHD, AERA supports the coalition’s request for $1.6 billion for NICHD.

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