On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a markup of the Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366) , which would reauthorize federal education research through the Institutes of Education Sciences. H.R 4366 was unanimously passed in May by the House and was stalled in the Senate until the House agreed to move the Senate-passed Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (S. 1086), which the House passed on the suspension calendar on Monday. No amendments were offered after Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) withdrew her amendment—which would have required the Department of Education to make student financial aid data available for research purposes—with the agreement to work with Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to include her withdrawn amendment in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The bill was unanimously passed in the HELP Committee in the form of a substitute by voice vote—due to the bipartisan, bicameral negotiations that were agreed upon prior to the markup. The Senate’s substitute amendment only consisted of minor changes to the original House bill that accounted for larger increases in funding leading up to 2020, explicit language to reduce overlap and duplication in research, and limits the circumstances when the National Center for Education Statistics can deny data access to researchers. The bill is expected to move to the Senate floor for a full vote soon followed by a final vote by the House before it heads the President’s desk. Learn more about H.R. 4366 and watch the archived webcast of the markup here.
Prepared for Triangle Coalition for STEM Education by Washington Partners, LLC