Congress is actively interested in ensuring that the United States is educating the talent needed to maintain our global economic and national security leadership. A number of proposals being considered by Congress focus on putting the National Science Foundation’s Education division on a doubling path over the next 5-7 years.
This memo recommends that the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) — the R&D agency housed within the Department of Education — be put on the similar doubling path with stepladder increases in authorization levels, and targeted program starts (e.g., an “ARPA” housed at ED) focused on major gaps that have been building for years but made even more evident during the pandemic.
This increased funding for IES should be focused on:
• Establishing New Research Capacity in the form of an  “ARPA-like” Transformative Research Program;
• Harnessing Data for Impact through investments in  Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS),  a Learning Observatory, and  modernization of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP);
• Conducting Pathbreaking Data-Driven Research by  building a permanent Data Science Unit within IES,  increasing funding for special education research; and  investing in digital learning platforms as research infrastructure; and
• Building the Education Field for Deployment of What Works by  establishing a Center of Learning Excellence for state-level recovery investments in tutoring and more.
These policy proposals will simplify the affordable housing qualification process for all federal housing programs, primarily focusing on PBV and LIHTC, to move eligible households into vacant units more quickly.
A uniform software tool for inputting building permit data would make the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey (BPS) more reliable, and it would also facilitate more fine-grained geographical analysis of new housing development.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) should prioritize funding water projects for local governments that would expand the production of new housing in their service areas if given the water resources to do so.
Congress needs to amend the definition of a manufactured home to remove the phrase “on a permanent chassis.” By doing this, Congress can eliminate wasted construction materials, allow new multifamily design options under the HUD Code, and unleash competition from factory-built manufactured housing.