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Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Education Policymaking


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FY Awards

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Dr. Haigen Huang
(202) 987-0371

Dr. James Benson
(202) 245-8333

Dr. Allen Ruby
(202) 245-8145

Dr. Corinne Alfeld
(202) 987-0835


MS Word FY 2025 84.305S (DOC: 218 KB)
PDF File FY 2025 84.305S (PDF: 510 KB)

In FY 2021, IES began the Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Policymaking grant program (Using Data for Policymaking) to expand State agencies' use of their State Longitudinal Data Systems* (SLDS) for generating evidence in support of education policy decisions. The Using Data for Policymaking grants carry out research aligned with what State agencies want to know about a specific education issue, program, or policy and also generate findings with practical implications for the State agency's decision making.

The research must make use of the State's SLDS but may also use secondary data from other sources and/or collect primary data to better answer the research questions, especially for learner subgroups for which little or only lower quality data are available in the SLDS. In addition, the research must address learner academic outcomes and may include other outcomes of interest to the State agency. State agencies may apply for these grants on their own or in collaboration with other organizations (the grantee may be any organization capable of carrying out rigorous research). The State agency must provide either the Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-PI. Proposed research can address learners in prekindergarten, K–12, postsecondary, and/or adult education.

Eligible State agencies include the State educational agency (SEA) responsible for the State's K-12 sector as well as other State agencies responsible for other specific education sectors such as prekindergarten, career and technical education, postsecondary education, and adult education. In addition, a State postsecondary system may serve as the eligible State agency.

The focus of the Using Data for Policymaking grant making has varied over time:

  • The FY 2021 focus was research on any specific education issue, program, or policy that would generate findings with practical implications for the State agency's decision making. Seven projects were funded in FY 2021.
  • The FY 2022 focus was research to support pandemic recovery especially for learner subgroups most affected by the pandemic. These subgroups were identified in The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and included racial and ethnic minorities, learners living in low-income families, learners not proficient in English, learners living in migrant or foster families, and/or homeless learners. Three projects were funded in FY 2022.
  • The FY 2023 focus was on learners least likely to have access to high-quality education and to achieve academically relative to their peers, especially those learner subgroups identified for FY 2022. The projects support research on state-supported efforts — including recovery activities — to improve these learners' access to a high-quality education and the resources and supports they may need to succeed and to improve their academic achievement. Seven projects were funded in FY 2023.
  • The FY 2024 focus remained the same as the FY 2023 focus. Five projects were funded in FY 2024.
  • The FY 2025 focus remains the same as the FY 2023 and FY 2024 focus. Applications for FY 2025 will be accepted through August 15, 2024.

Research proposed under this grant program should support what the specific State agency wants to know about how to improve learners' access and achievement and the findings should have practical implications for the State agency's decision making on programs and policies relevant to learners.

* The separate IES Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant program provides grants, resources, and services to support States as they design, develop, implement, and expand their K-12 and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) longitudinal data systems. States use these systems to manage their education data, including student records, and to facilitate research aimed at improving student learning and outcomes and closing achievement gaps. Based on the eight rounds of funding, 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa have received at least one SLDS grant.