House Appropriations Committee Advances FY 2020 Bills for Education Research Agencies
House Appropriations Committee Advances FY 2020 Bills for Education Research Agencies

May 2019

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee held a markup hearing on the 2020 fiscal year Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill. The bill advanced on a 30–23 party line vote. The legislation provides an overall boost of $4.5 billion to the Department of Education, and a $35 million increase for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The specific allocations for programs within IES are noted in the following chart.

Institute of Education Sciences (in millions of dollars)

  FY 2019
FY 2020
Budget Request

FY 2019 Final
v. FY 2020
Budget Request

FY 2020 
FY 2020
House v.
FY 2019
FY 2020 House
v. FY 2019
Institute of Education Sciences $615.0 $521.6 -15.2% $650.0 $35.0 5.7%
Research, Development and Dissemination $192.7 $187.5 -2.7% $205.4 $12.7 6.6%
Regional Educational Laboratories $55.4 $0.0 -100.0% $60.4 $5.0 9.0%
Statistics $109.5 $112.5 2.7% $117.5 $8.0 7.3%
Assessment $158.7 $156.7 -1.3% $158.7 $0.0 0.0%
Statewide Data Systems $32.3 $0.0 -100.0% $35.3 $3.0 9.3%
Special Education Studies and Evaluations $10.8 $10.8 0.0% $11.7 $0.9 8.3%
Research in Special Education $56.0 $54.0 -3.6% $61.0 $5.0 8.9%


The House bill rejects the proposed elimination of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program and the Regional Educational Laboratories in the President’s budget request.

The legislation also includes $1.58 billion for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a  $73 million increase over the FY 2019 amount, and $41.1 billion overall for the National Institutes of Health, a $2 billion increase.

On May 22, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) bill. The legislation includes $8.63 billion for the National Science Foundation, a 7 percent increase over the FY 2019 level of $8.07 billion. Within NSF, the Education and Human Resources Directorate would receive $950 million, a 4.4 percent increase over the FY 2019 level of $910 million.

The Research and Related Activities account, which includes funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Sciences Directorate, would see a 9 percent boost over FY 2019 to $7.1 billion. The committee report language also highlights the importance of SBE, noting, “The Committee believes this research provides an evidence-based understanding of the human condition, resulting in more-informed policymaking and better-informed spending on a full range of national issues. The recommendation includes no less than the fiscal year 2019 level for SBE.”

The CJS bill also includes $8.45 billion for the Census Bureau, with $7.5 billion for the 2020 Decennial Census. The report language notes, “The bill prioritizes the Decennial Census by providing a strong funding increase to enable the Census Bureau to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution.”

The overall news from the House bills is good for education researchers. At the same time, throughout the LHHS markup hearing, Republicans highlighted the need for House and Senate leaders and the White House to reach a budget agreement before moving forward with appropriations bills. There has been little action in the Senate thus far—the appropriations subcommittees have been holding hearings with agency leaders on FY 2020 priorities and are accepting public witness testimony (the deadline for submitting testimony to the LHHS subcommittee is June 3). It is expected that Senate leadership will not move appropriations bills until a budget agreement to increase the budget caps is reached. Although White House and Congressional leaders have begun negotiations, no deal has been reached at this point.