Congress has begun considering appropriations for FY19. Of particular concern to the University of Oregon is the President’s Proposed Budget Request for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The Trump Administration’s proposed budget for FY 2019 requests $522 million, which would represent a decrease of $84 million – or 14 percent - compared to the FY 2017 enacted level. Efforts are underway to push back against that proposal.
Congressional champions are requesting House and Senate appropriators to more fully fund IES. On April 11, US Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have joined with sixteen colleagues to send a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, asking the agency to be funded at $670 million. The letter states “With IES support and leadership, the field of education continues to evolve with increased engagement and dissemination of knowledge to state and local decisions makers. Yet the budget has remained flat – and some programs are functioning at funding levels lower than in years past. This means many pressing questions about education are left unanswered, including school safety, serving non-traditional student populations, and creating affordable pathways for good-paying technical jobs that do not require a four year degree.”
On the House side, 32 members signed Rep.Suzanne Bonamici (pictured, right) (D-OR)’s letter, dated March 19, requesting $670 million for IES. Friends of IES, a coalition led by the American Educational Research Association, also weighed in with a letter to appropriators. The University of Oregon is among the institutions that signed on.
On April 18, Randy Kamphaus (pictured, left), the Dean of the College of Education, visited Washington D.C.to meet with members of the Oregon delegation about the IES budget allocation, among other topics. U.S. News & World Report ranks the college’s special education program as third in the nation, with the college itself ranking 13th overall and fifth among public institutions.