Advocacy Tool:  NCSER Funding Map and Overview   (September, 2016)

DR and CEC’s Public Policy unit teamed up recently to develop materials that depict some features of federal funding over the last decade – including the sharp decline in funding - for the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), located in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the US Department of Education. These materials were used in July 2016 by participants in CEC’s Legislative Summit during their visits to Congressional offices and will continue to be used in CEC’s efforts to secure adequate funding for NCSER research initiatives.  See Betsy Talbott’s Summer 2016 DR President’s Message for an overview of recent and upcoming advocacy plans.

The DR Board encourages DR members to review the NCSER Funding Map and Overview (2005-1015) and use this document as you engage in discussions over the critical importance of continued strong federal funding for research related to the development and education of children and youth with disabilities.  The map shows where NCSER grants have been awarded, by state, over the last decade and the overview clearly illustrates the significant decline in federal funding from $83 million in FY 2005 to $54 million in FYs 2014-2016.  

DR Joins Labor-HHS-ED Community in Urging Higher Federal Spending in FY 2017 (February, 2016)

Now that President Obama has issued his budget request for FY 2017 which begins October 1, 2016, works begins in Congress to develop and pass appropriations bills, hopefully before the start of the new fiscal year.  The Division for Research joined over 600 other organizations in February 2016 in sending a letter to leaders of the US House and Senate appropriations committees urging that they allocate as high a funding level as possible to labor, health, education and related programs and services in the FY 2017 3012(b) allocations for their respective subcommittees.  Each appropriations subcommittee is allocated a certain amount of funding under the full Committee’s 302(a) allocation.  These allocations, which are referred to as 302(b) allocations, establish the cap on spending for each of the appropriations bills.  The subcommittees themselves do not determine the level of funding for each appropriations bill; they only determine how that money is spent among the agencies and programs under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.  Noting that programs and services of the “Labor-HHS” spending bill continue to be short changed in the annual appropriations process (these programs received a 3.3% increase in 2016 over the 2015 appropriation, while nondefense discretionary programs overall saw a 6.9% increase), this joint letter asks Congressional leaders to take the first step in their appropriations process to re-invest in these programs.

Friends of IES to Hold Capitol Hill Special Education Research Event March 4 - You are Invited!

If you'll be in Washington, DC on March 4, plan to attend this event.  Friends of IES, a collaboration of organizations (including AERA, CEC, APA, NCLD, SRI, Vanderbilt University and others) supporting IES funding and programs, has invited national experts in the field of special education transition to make a presentation for Hill staff and the public highlighting one area of significant IES research investments and outcomes:  Transitioning to Adult Productivity:  Supporting Secondary Students with Disabilities in Successful Movement to College and Career.  This event is designed to help familiarize policy makers with the work of IES, in particular on research supported by the Institute's National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). Presenters will be:  Mary Wagner (SRI International), David Test (UNC Charlotte), Laurie Powers (Portland State University), and Erik Carter (Vanderbilt University).  Check out the invitation for details and RSVP.

URGENT! Stand Up for Education Research Funding!

The education research community is sending a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee opposing their proposal to slash federal funding for IES-sponsored education research for FY 2016.  Special education research would be cut by more than $18 million to $36 million, the lowest funding level in more than 20 years, and 54% lower than FY 2004 when the special education research program was transferred to IES! If enacted, NCSER would be unable to fund new research grants in the coming year. Similar cuts in funding for NCER are also proposed. The DR Board of Directors strongly urges you to sign-on to the community letter, prepared by LEARN and AERA, as individual researchers, encourage your colleagues to do the same, and  ask your department, college and university to sign on as well.  Sign-ons can be completed online - it will take you only a minute - at: .  You can see the letter before you sign-on.  Join DR, CEC and many other organizations and individuals to express your concern. Deadline:  Please sign-on as soon as you read this; the absolute deadline for sign-ons is September 3, 2015!

IES Issues Technical Work Group Recommendations (March 2015)

Two Technical Working Group Summaries Are Now Available: "Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs" and "Improving Relevance in Education and Research and Researcher Perspectives on Strengthening IES’s Research Grant and Training Programs".
DR Comments on IES Research Priorities and Programs (November 2014)

In response to an invitation from IES, the DR Board of Directors consulted with members and submitted a response in late 2014 outlining our perspective on areas in need of research support in special education.  The DR Board welcomes member comments.  See the DR response

Congress Completes Work on FY 2015 Appropriations: ED Research Level Funded
(December 2014)

In December, 2014 Congress passed and the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill funding federal government programs through the end of FY 2015 (September 2014 - June 2015).  For the two IES research centers, NCSER and NCER, the result was the same level of funding as in FY 2014.  NCSER is receiving $54 million and NCER $179.9 million. See the funding levels for all US Department of Education programs.