On Dec. 4 Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), took the lead in authoring a letter from ten additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), to the leadership of the House and U.S. Senate Appropriations Committees. The signers asked for $200 million in emergency relief for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to extend funding of current IES research that has been delayed by school closures and lack of access to data collection caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without cost extensions, researchers lose access to research funds to sustain their scholarship. IES is the home of numerous centers that fund this research, including the National Center for Education Research and the National Center for Special Education Research.
The members wrote to appropriations leadership that “the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed ongoing research funded through the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). School closures and limited access to school facilities have prevented data collection and in-person professional development on education interventions for 300 NCER and NCSER grants. IES grantees have worked to adapt their research and data collection to online settings, but without additional funding to extend research projects their results may be jeopardized. Funding to extend current research grants will also allow early career scholars and graduate students the opportunity to continue working on IES-funded projects.”
The letter cites IES’ critical role in evaluating the effectiveness of the nation’s education programs, and cites the example of the development of “Operation Reverse the Loss”, which establishes a School Pulse survey that will provide data about the extent of COVID-10 on education and learning loss, ramp up technology platforms, and test effective education programs.
The College of Education’s special education graduate program is third in the nation and the College of Education’s graduate school of education is fourth among publication institutions. UO’s College of Education faculty conducting this research depend on IES, NSER, and NCSER funding.