With FY 2022 Appropriations Process about to Get Underway, AERA Urges Boosts to Research Funding
With FY 2022 Appropriations Process about to Get Underway, AERA Urges Boosts to Research Funding

March 2021

In early April, President Biden is expected to release preliminary details of the administration’s budget request for FY 2022. The budget request is typically released in February, but the administration’s first budget has been delayed due to challenges with the transition from the previous administration and the absence of a permanent director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Once the “skinny” budget is released, action will begin in Congress on FY 2022 appropriations. For the first time since 2011, there will be no budget caps in place, due to the expiration of the Budget Control Act. In addition, Democrats are reinstituting a form of earmarks—Community Funding Projects—to direct funding to local projects.

Organizations are beginning to submit appropriations requests for priorities, including AERA for education research and statistics. As the chairing organization for the Friends of IES coalition, AERA and more than 40 organizations sent a letter supporting $700 million for the Institute of Education Sciences in FY 2022. AERA also joined a letter in support of $50 million for gun violence prevention research at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

In addition, AERA joined a multi-society letter to President Biden urging him to champion the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act and include research relief as part of future proposals. The RISE Act includes $25 billion for federal research agencies, including $3 billion for the National Science Foundation and $200 million for IES. The letter also calls for the Biden administration to provide federal agencies the flexibility for childcare expenses, technical support, and extensions for grants. These options would mitigate the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on the scientific careers of women and persons of color.

Additional letters with appropriations requests will be sent during April. AERA will also submit testimony to House and Senate appropriations subcommittees later this year.

“These formal mechanisms are important,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine, “but are only steps in a larger strategy. Part of our outreach efforts are ongoing conversations and meetings with agency leaders and with key members of Congress and staff. In all of this, we welcome input at govrelations@aera.net.”