Federal

Bush Budget Would Boost Spending on Studies, But Cut Back Outreach

By Debra Viadero — February 19, 2003 3 min read

President Bush has proposed a $375.9 million budget for the Department of Education’s new Institute of Education Sciences. To outsiders at least, it seems to be strong on focused, long-term research, but skimpy on routes for getting it into schools.

“It’s kind of a one-step dance, when two steps are required,” said Gerald R. Sroufe, the government-relations director for the American Educational Research Association, based here. “We have to recognize that even brilliant research doesn’t automatically get translated into education policy.”

The $185 million that the administration is proposing to spend in fiscal 2004 for research, development, and dissemination represents a $10 million increase over Mr. Bush’s budget proposal last year.

Much of the new money would be discretionary spending to underwrite a variety of strategically focused research programs, some new and some already in place. They include research on improving teacher quality, on reducing behavior problems in school and developing character in children, and on effective reading and mathematics instruction.

The budget also sets aside another $2 million to further expand the forthcoming What Works Clearinghouse, a project aimed at rating educational products and practices on the scientific merit of their effectiveness claims and gathering the results into an easily accessible database for consumers.

On the other hand, the budget would “zero out” the $67.5 million that now supports regional education laboratories, which provide expert advice and development and dissemination services in 10 geographic areas.

Gone, too, would be the $28 million now spent for the comprehensive- assistance centers, which also offer technical expertise to schools and districts. Authority for those entities, however, has since moved to other offices in the department, according to department officials.

The president does, however, call for keeping the same level of support for the Educational Resources Information Center, or ERIC, clearinghouses, which collect, distribute, and analyze information on a variety of subjects, such as rural schools and small schools.

Up to the States

Despite the proposed changes, Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, the institute’s director and the former assistant secretary of the research office that preceded it, said the budget proposals do not represent a shift in departmental priorities.

“There are a lot of funds in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that are directed toward technical assistance,” Mr. Whitehurst said, “and the general position is that the states are in a better position than the federal government is to take what’s available to them for technical assistance and purchase what they need with the money.”

Disappointed supporters of the regional-lab system argued the timing for the proposed cuts was bad, coming as states are looking for more guidance to meet the new requirements laid down in the most recent revision of the ESEA, the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001.

“We are particularly surprised that the administration would repudiate Congress, as well as its own purported goals for education reform and scientifically based research in education,” said Jim Kohlmoos, the president of the National Education Knowledge Industry Association, a Washington-based group that includes the federal labs among its members.

He and others also noted that some of the proposed budget recommendations run counter to language in the Education Sciences Reform Act, the 2002 federal law that created the new federal research institute.

It’s likely, observers said, that the Congress may restore some of the programs targeted for elimination before a final research spending plan is approved for the 2004 budget.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal CDC: Nearly 80 Percent of K-12, Child-Care Workers Have Had at Least One COVID-19 Shot
About four out of five teachers, school staffers, and child-care workers had first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March, CDC says.
2 min read
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11, 2021. Teachers received their first vaccine during an all-day event at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP
Federal Ed. Dept. to Review Title IX Rules on Sexual Assault, Gender Equity, LGBTQ Rights
The review could reopen a Trump-era debate on sexual assault in schools, and it could spark legal discord over transgender student rights.
4 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A EdWeek Q&A: Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
In an interview after a school reopening summit, the education secretary also addressed teachers' union concerns about CDC guidance.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal Senators Press Deputy Education Secretary Nominee on School Closures, Lost Learning Time
If confirmed, San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten would be the Education Department's number two as it urges in-person learning.
5 min read
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten speaks at Lincoln High School in San Diego during the State of the District Address on Oct. 20, 2015.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten would be second in command at the U.S. Department of Education if confirmed as deputy secretary.
Misael Virgen/San Diego Union-Tribune