APA joined 54 educational and research organizations in calling for $10 million supplemental funding for the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (PDF, 182KB) within the Institute for Education Sciences. The resources would aid in the agency's implementation of the Biden administration executive order calling for up-to-date data on students and their ability to learn during the pandemic. The president's executive order highlighted the need for disaggregated data necessary to identify “efficient, effective, and timely strategies for helping our schools and students.” This data is required to provide baseline information. It would permit the measurement “of the disparate impact of the pandemic, school disruptions, and learning loss,” according to the letter's signatories.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for the nation's education system, including setbacks related to students and teachers safely returning to the classroom. The groups sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, including Senate Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and House Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-Okla.). It emphasized the need for additional funding for NCES to carry out the president's executive order citing the “severe staffing and budget constraints.” Accordingly, “NCES is stretched too thin to attempt this undertaking without the infusion of additional funding.”
Specifically, to enable the collection of the data, the group's request for a total of $10 million calls for $5 million for NCES in both the next COVID emergency relief package and the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill to establish and execute a school “pulse survey.” The survey would allow collection of this data and enable NCES to provide the timely and actionable data needed. The data gained from the study would allow educators to understand the crisis, respond with new tools to help students catch up, and make sure no student is left behind.
For more information, contact Angela L. Sharpe, MG.