To help special educators do this, the National Center for Special Education Research – one of four centers within the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education -- has been investigating critical questions to expand our knowledge and understanding of infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. (Click here for a great summary of research findings from 2006-2012, and here for CEC’s website on NCSER).
Today, Republican and Democrat leaders of the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced the Strengthening Education Through Research Act, legislation that oversees the Institute of Education Sciences. Key CEC recommendations included are:
- Prioritizing special education research funding within the Institute of Education Sciences.
- Emphasizing the elimination of the achievement gap between students with and without disabilities.
- Increasing dissemination and collaboration with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).
- Increasing the pipeline of early career special education researchers.
- Ensuring peer reviewers have expertise in areas relevant to grant applications.
Although the Strengthening Education Through Research Actdoespropose to prioritize funding for special education research, CEC has significant concerns that the actual funding amounts listed in the legislation remain inadequate to sufficiently address the nation’s special education research needs.
This limited investment, coming as the result of rules adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives intended to rein in spending, is not enough to restore funding and increase the impact of future NCSER and special education research.
This bill still has a long way to go before becoming law. Join CEC in calling for a greater investment in special education research!