The University of Oregon signed on to a March 23 letter to the leadership of the US House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies encouraging the committee to appropriate at least $700 million for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in FY22. .
The letter was organized by Friends of IES, a coalition of 42 organizations committed to supporting the essential role of IES, organized the letter. Co-signers include the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), American Education Research Association, and the LEARN Coalition.
The letter emphasizes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and the IES programs that are tackling pandemic-related solutions to these impacts, noting “This funding level would bolster the research and statistical infrastructure needed to develop and scale up evidence-based interventions to support learning recovery, understand and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of education, and ensure the continuation of research and data collection in the field.”
UO’s College of Education is a national leader in education research. It is ranked as the No. 3 Special Education Graduate Program in the nation. The letter notes that the IES’s National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), from which many UO College of Education faculty receive funding, has a budget that has remained relatively flat since FY 2014. The letter goes on to say, “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on students with or at-risk of disabilities who have faced significant barriers to educational access over the past year. With additional funding, NCSER could support data and evidence-based resources to guide teachers, administrators, and policymakers in state and local agencies on continued COVID-19 response and recovery.”