H.R. 2092 (110th): Education for All Act of 2007

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of May 01, 2007 (Introduced).

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I

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2092

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 1, 2007

(for herself and Mr. Bachus) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide assistance for developing countries to promote quality basic education and to establish the achievement of universal basic education in all developing countries as an objective of United States foreign assistance policy, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Education for All Act of 2007.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Throughout the world, an alarming number of children are not receiving primary education. At least 77 million children of primary school age are not in school and 3/5 of such children are girls. Worldwide, half of school-age children who start primary school drop out. Hundreds of millions more children are denied a secondary school education.

(2)

Of the approximately 77 million children of primary school age who are not in school, more than half live in countries that are considered fragile or have been affected by conflict and 50 percent live in Africa. A significant number of such children have been orphaned or otherwise negatively affected by HIV/AIDS. Other such children have been victims of child labor or human trafficking. Without access to education, such children will not have the skills to contribute to reconstruction and stabilization of their countries.

(3)

The final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (hereafter in this section referred to as the Report) concluded that education that teaches tolerance, the dignity and value of each individual, and respect for different beliefs must be a key element in any global strategy to eliminate terrorism.

(4)

Extending the vision of educational opportunity described in the Report to all developing countries, including countries affected by armed conflict, is critical to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and prevent the rise of violent extremism worldwide.

(5)

The Report concluded that the United States Government must offer an example of moral leadership in the world and offer parents and their children a vision of the future that emphasizes individual educational and economic opportunity.

(6)

At the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to the goal of universal basic education by 2015. Universal completion of primary school and eliminating gender disparity in all levels of education not later than 2015 are part of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Currently, at least 70 countries are unlikely to achieve the goal of 100 percent of children completing primary school by not later than 2015.

(7)

The Report noted that the United Nations has rightly equated literacy as freedom and that the international community is moving toward setting a goal of reducing by half the illiteracy rate in the Middle East by 2010, through the implementation of education programs targeting women and girls and supporting programs for adult literacy.

(8)

The Report concluded that ensuring educational opportunity is essential to the efforts of the United States to defeat global terrorism and recommended that the United States Government should offer to join with other nations in generously supporting [spending funds] . . . directly on building and operating primary and secondary schools in those Muslim states that commit to sensibly investing financial resources in public education.

(9)

Basic education has been demonstrated to be fundamental to development. No country has reached sustained economic growth without achieving near universal primary education. Education reduces poverty and inequality, and lays the foundation for sound governance, civic participation, and strong institutions.

(10)

Investing in girls’ education delivers substantial returns not only in educational attainment but also in increasing women’s incomes, delaying the start of sexual activity, reducing infant mortality, increasing women’s political participation, and spurring economic growth.

(11)

Education helps to protect children in conflict situations from physical harm, exploitation, and sexual abuse, as well as to avoid the recruitment of children into armed groups, and to promote good governance and poverty reduction.

(12)

According to progress reports from the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative, since the World Education Forum was held in 2000, the number of children out of school has decreased at an average rate of 4 million children per year. Despite this progress, the goal of achieving universal basic education by 2015 will not be met unless the number of children out of school decreases at an average rate of approximately 7 million children per year.

(13)

Credible estimates indicate that at least an additional $7 billion to $10 billion per year of external development assistance is necessary for developing countries to achieve universal basic education by 2015.

3.

Assistance to achieve universal basic education

(a)

In general

Chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 105 the following new section:

105A.

Assistance to achieve universal basic education

(a)

Purpose

It is the purpose of this section to ensure that the United States provides the resources and leadership to ensure a successful international effort to provide all children with a quality basic education in order to achieve the goal of universal basic education by 2015 agreed to at the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal in 2000.

(b)

Policy

It is the policy of the United States to work with foreign countries and international and civil society organizations to increase the global commitment to achieving universal basic education—

(1)

to assist developing countries to provide all children with a quality basic education; and

(2)

to assist nongovernmental and multilateral organizations working in developing countries to provide all children with a quality basic education.

(c)

Principles

In developing the global commitment referred to in subsection (b), the policy of the United States shall be guided by the following principles:

(1)

United States resources

To lead a global commitment to achieving universal basic education in developing countries, including in developing countries affected by armed conflict, emerging from armed conflict, or affected by humanitarian crises, the United States shall commit substantial new resources for education in developing countries to expand access to educational opportunity and inspire confidence in such countries that efforts to reform education in such countries will receive adequate resources.

(2)

Other major donors

The United States Government shall encourage other donors to contribute commensurate amounts to support such a global commitment.

(3)

Private sector and nongovernmental participation and contributions

United States efforts in leading such a global commitment shall include explicit strategies to encourage and integrate contributions of strategic direction and financial resources from indigenous and international private sector and civil society organizations interested in supporting quality universal basic education efforts.

(4)

School access, quality, and completion

United States assistance for basic education in developing countries shall seek to expand access to school for all children, including children in developing countries that are affected by armed conflict, emerging from armed conflict, or affected by humanitarian crises, and to improve the quality of education in order to increase the number of children completing a basic education.

(5)

Coordination within the United States Government

The United States Government shall establish a comprehensive strategy to improve coordination and collaboration among all departments and agencies of the United States Government involved in providing assistance for basic education to developing countries to ensure efficient and effective use of the resources of the United States. The comprehensive strategy shall recognize the importance of providing assistance for basic education, including the importance of providing such assistance in humanitarian and other emergency situations and the importance in providing such assistance as a component of development assistance. The comprehensive strategy shall ensure the provision of assistance for basic education throughout the transition from emergency situations to reconstruction and development.

(6)

Coordination between education and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts

United States assistance shall support efforts to improve coordination between global health and education initiatives in United States Government programs and internationally to reduce the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems, teacher workforce, and orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries.

(7)

Coordination with national education plans

United States assistance for basic education in developing countries shall be provided in collaboration and coordination with the national education plans of such countries to the maximum extent practicable.

(8)

Integration of education plans within overall national economic strategies

United States policies and programs shall encourage developing countries to ensure that efforts are developed within an overall strategy of economic and market reforms to reduce poverty and spur sustained economic growth.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

AIDS

The term AIDS has the meaning given that term in section 104A(g).

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Basic education

The term basic education

(A)

means an education, generally consisting of completion of 9–10 years of schooling, including efforts to improve early childhood development, primary education, secondary education, literacy and numeracy training, and life skills training; and

(B)

includes efforts to facilitate and support the activities described in subparagraph (A), including efforts to—

(i)

build the institutional capacity of a country to manage basic education systems and measure results;

(ii)

construct and rehabilitate schools;

(iii)

train teachers;

(iv)

increase parent and community involvement in schools;

(v)

provide learning materials; and

(vi)

develop curricula.

(4)

Education for All Fast-Track Initiative

The term Education for All Fast-Track Initiative means the Fast-Track Initiative launched in 2002 to mobilize donor resources and accelerate progress toward the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of Education for All by 2015, an international commitment to bring the benefits of basic education to every individual.

(5)

HIV

The term HIV has the meaning given that term in section 104A(g).

(6)

HIV/AIDS

The term HIV/AIDS has the meaning given that term in section 104A(g).

(7)

Member states of the Group of Eight

The term member states of the Group of Eight means the countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

(8)

National education plan

The term national education plan means a comprehensive national education plan that—

(A)

is developed in accordance with the provisions of the Education For All Fast-Track Initiative; and

(B)

includes explicit, credible strategies to achieve universal basic education, including strategies to—

(i)

address key constraints to achieving universal basic education in the areas of policy, data, capacity, and financing; and

(ii)

coordinate priorities of basic education with priorities for early childhood development, secondary education, higher education, and non-formal education.

(9)

Psychosocial support

The term psychosocial support has the meaning given that term in section 135.

(10)

Relevant executive branch agencies and officials

The term relevant executive branch agencies and officials means—

(A)

the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Defense;

(B)

the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally, the National Security Advisor, and the National Economic Advisor; and

(C)

any other department, agency, or official of the United States Government that participates in activities to promote universal basic education pursuant to the authorities of such department, agency, or official or pursuant to this Act.

(e)

Development and implementation of a comprehensive United States strategy on education for all

(1)

Strategy required

The President shall develop a comprehensive integrated strategy of the United States to promote universal basic education by 2015.

(2)

Elements

The strategy required by subsection (a) shall—

(A)

include specific objectives, indicators, including indicators to measure learning outcomes, and approaches to increase access and quality of basic education in developing countries;

(B)

outline how the United States Government will ensure a transition and continuity of educational activities in countries affected by armed conflict, emerging from armed conflict, and affected by humanitarian crises;

(C)

assign priorities to relevant executive branch agencies and officials;

(D)

improve coordination and reduce duplication among relevant executive branch agencies and officials, foreign donor governments, and international organizations;

(E)

project general levels of resources needed to achieve the stated objectives;

(F)

expand public-private partnerships and the leveraging of resources;

(G)

target the activities of the United States to leverage contributions from member states of the Group of Eight and other donors to provide universal basic education;

(H)

target the assistance provided by the United States to leverage contributions from the private sector and civil society organizations to achieve universal basic education;

(I)

increase efforts of the United States to coordinate with other donors to reduce inefficiency and waste at the global and country levels and ensure efficient coordination among relevant executive branch agencies and officials;

(J)

support efforts of the United States in helping children to overcome challenges to achieving universal basic education, including strategies to target hard-to-reach populations, including those impacted by AIDS, orphans, and other vulnerable populations, and to support efforts to reduce the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems; and

(K)

maximize United States capabilities in the areas of technical assistance and training.

(3)

Requirement to consult

In developing the strategy required by subsection (a), the President shall consult with—

(A)

relevant executive branch agencies and officials; and

(B)

nongovernmental organizations and individuals who are involved in the promotion and implementation of education assistance programs in developing countries.

(4)

Public comment

The President shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the strategy required by subsection (a).

(5)

Annual report

Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the Education for All Act of 2007, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth the strategy required by subsection (a) and make the report available to the public.

(f)

Assistance To develop and implement national education plans

(1)

Assistance authorized

The President is authorized to provide funds and other assistance to assist foreign countries described in paragraph (2) to create the policies, processes, and infrastructure to develop and implement national education plans to allow all children of such countries to access and complete basic education.

(2)

Foreign countries described

The foreign countries described in this paragraph are—

(A)

foreign countries that have demonstrated a strong commitment to delivering universal basic education, as evidenced by the establishment of a national education plan or the willingness to develop a national education plan; and

(B)

foreign countries that have not demonstrated a strong commitment to delivering universal basic education, as evidenced by the failure to establish a national education plan and the lack of opportunity or capacity to work with a committed national government.

(3)

Priority and other requirements

(A)

Priority

In providing assistance under this subsection, the President shall give priority to foreign countries in which there is the greatest need, as evidenced in part by the percentage of children out of school, in which there is the greatest opportunity to expand universal access and to improve the quality of basic education, and in which the assistance can produce a substantial, measurable impact on children and educational systems.

(B)

Requirement relating to countries without a strong commitment to delivering universal basic education

Assistance provided under this subsection to foreign countries described in paragraph (2)(B) shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be provided in coordination with committed local governments and civil society organizations.

(C)

Requirement relating to countries affected by conflict or crises

Assistance provided under this subsection to foreign countries or those parts of the territories of foreign countries that are affected by armed conflict, emerging from armed conflict, or affected by a humanitarian crisis shall be provided in such a manner so as to ensure a continuity of educational activities throughout the conflict or crisis and during the transition from conflict or crisis to reconstruction and development.

(4)

Activities supported

Assistance provided under this subsection may be used to support efforts to expand access and to improve the quality of basic education, including efforts—

(A)

to ensure an adequate supply of trained teachers;

(B)

to promote programs that expand training and implementation of effective curricula;

(C)

to provide adequate infrastructure;

(D)

to build systems to provide continuing support, training, and professional development for all educators;

(E)

to eliminate fees for educational services, including fees for tuition, uniforms, and materials, and provide access to education without additional costs to families through simplified multilateral mechanisms;

(F)

to identify and replicate successful interventions that improve access to education and the quality of education, such as scholarships, school lunch, and school health programs;

(G)

to build systems to ensure continuing information collection, monitoring, and evaluation of education services and financing;

(H)

to ensure that schools are not incubators for violent extremism;

(I)

to provide human rights and conflict-resolution education;

(J)

to promote programs that teach civic education and life skills;

(K)

to support other initiatives that have demonstrated success in increasing access, improving learning outcomes and increasing educational opportunities for the most disadvantaged populations, such as children in remote or rural areas, religious or ethnic minorities, orphans and children impacted by HIV/AIDS, child laborers or victims of trafficking, children affected by conflict, and children living with disabilities;

(L)

to increase the number of comprehensive schools; and

(M)

to carry out other activities to further the goals of the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative.

(5)

Additional activities supported for countries affected by conflict or crises

In addition to the activities supported under paragraph (4), assistance provided under this subsection to foreign countries or those parts of the territories of foreign countries that are affected by armed conflict, emerging from armed conflict, or affected by a humanitarian crisis may be used to support efforts—

(A)

to ensure a continuity of educational activities for all children;

(B)

wherever possible, to reestablish formal education services, or to complement services that are available with the establishment of well-managed school spaces, to protect children from physical harm, psychological and social distress, recruitment into armed groups, family separation, and abuses related to their displacement;

(C)

to promote the creation of out-of-school programs and flexible-hour schooling in areas in which security prevents students from attending regular schools;

(D)

to provide safe spaces, with such facilities providing access to water, sanitation, health-related education, psychosocial support and landmine awareness;

(E)

to provide temporary facility construction and minor rehabilitation of educational structures;

(F)

to provide essential educational materials that assist in building systems to support, train, and provide professional development for educators; and

(G)

to promote efforts to ensure the reintegration of teachers and students in conflict and refugee situations into educational systems, including regional approaches to coordinate and recognize the educational efforts of these teachers and students and other school systems.

(6)

Suspension of assistance

(A)

In general

The President may suspend the provision of all or part of the assistance provided under this subsection for a foreign country if there is substantial evidence that the country—

(i)

is significantly failing to meet the criteria specified in its national education plan; or

(ii)
(I)
(aa)

is not tracking and monitoring the use of foreign and domestic assistance to develop or implement its national education plan and making such tracking and monitoring information available to the public; or

(bb)

is using such assistance for unauthorized purposes; and

(II)

fails to come forward with an immediate plan to address a deficiency described in item (aa) or (bb) of subclause (I).

(B)

Notification

Not later than 30 days after exercising the authority of subparagraph (A) to suspend the provision of all or part of the assistance provided under this subsection for a foreign country, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a notification of such suspension, including the reasons for the suspension.

(g)

Universal basic education fellowship program

(1)

Authority

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development is authorized to establish an education fellowship program at the United States Agency for International Development to increase the expertise of the personnel of the Agency in promoting universal basic education and to carry out the provisions of this section.

(2)

Term of fellowship

An individual may participate in a fellowship under this subsection for a term of not more than 3 years.

(3)

Qualifications

An individual is qualified to participate in a fellowship under this subsection if such individual has the specific expertise required—

(A)

to develop and implement the policies and programs of this section; and

(B)

to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience among the Agency, the education service delivery community, private business, and the academic and research communities.

(h)

Annual report

(1)

In general

Not later than January 31 of each year, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the implementation of this section for the prior fiscal year and make the report available to the public.

(2)

Report elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include—

(A)

a description of efforts made by relevant executive branch agencies and officials to implement the strategy developed pursuant to subsection (e), with a particular focus on the activities carried out under this section;

(B)

a description of the programs established by each foreign country receiving assistance pursuant to subsection (f) that provides a detailed explanation of the extent to which the strategy developed pursuant to subsection (e) and the assistance provided pursuant to subsection (f) are contributing to the goal of universal basic education in the foreign country; and

(C)

a description of the extent to which each foreign country selected to receive assistance pursuant to subsection (f) meets the priority criteria specified in subsection (f)(3)(A).

(i)

Relationship to other laws

The President shall exercise the authority provided in this section in accordance with other applicable law.

(j)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

To carry out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the President—

(A)

$1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(B)

$1,500,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(C)

$2,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2010;

(D)

$2,500,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and

(E)

$3,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

(2)

Availability of funds

Amounts made available under paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended and are in addition to amounts otherwise available for such purposes.

.

(b)

Technical amendment

Chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by subsection (a), is further amended by redesignating the second section 135 (as added by section 5(a) of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121; 119 Stat. 2536)) as section 136.

4.

Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Provide Education for All in Developing Countries

(a)

Establishment of position

Section 1 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 2651a) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (f) the following new subsection:

(g)

Education for All Coordinator

(1)

Establishment

(A)

In general

There shall be established within the Department of State in the immediate office of the Secretary of State a Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Provide Education for All in Developing Countries (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as the Coordinator), who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Coordinator shall report directly to the Secretary.

(B)

Concurrent government position prohibited

The individual serving as the Coordinator may not hold any other position in the Federal Government during the individual’s time of service as Coordinator.

(2)

General authorities

The Coordinator, acting through such nongovernmental organizations (including faith-based and community based organizations) and relevant executive branch agencies and officials as may be necessary and appropriate to effect the purposes of this section, is authorized—

(A)

to operate internationally to carry out activities to promote universal basic education;

(B)

to transfer and allocate funds to relevant executive branch agencies and officials; and

(C)

to provide grants to, and enter into contracts with nongovernmental organizations (including faith-based and community-based organizations) to carry out the purposes of this subsection.

(3)

Duties

(A)

In general

The Coordinator shall have primary responsibility for the oversight and coordination of all resources and international activities of the United States Government to promote universal basic education under section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law.

(B)

Specific duties

The duties of the Coordinator shall specifically include the following:

(i)

Ensuring program and policy coordination among relevant executive branch agencies and officials and nongovernmental organizations, including auditing, monitoring, and evaluation of all such programs.

(ii)

Ensuring that relevant executive branch agencies and officials undertake programs primarily in those areas in which the agencies and officials have the greatest expertise, technical capabilities, and potential for success.

(iii)

Avoiding duplication of effort.

(iv)

Ensuring coordination of activities of relevant executive branch agencies and officials in the field.

(v)

Pursuing coordination with other countries and international organizations.

(vi)

Resolving policy, program, and funding disputes among relevant executive branch agencies and officials.

(vii)

Directly approving all activities to promote universal basic education under section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law.

(viii)

Establishing due diligence criteria for all recipients of funds to promote universal basic education under section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law, and all activities carried out with such funds, subject to the coordination and appropriate monitoring, evaluation, and audits carried out by the Coordinator necessary to assess the measurable outcomes of such activities.

(ix)

Annually convening a meeting of relevant executive branch agencies and officials to evaluate progress in carrying out the United States strategy developed pursuant to section 105A(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and recommend future changes to the strategy based upon such evaluation.

(x)

Annually submit to the President a report outlining the progress made in carrying out the United States strategy developed pursuant to section 105A(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and containing the evaluation of the strategy and recommendations for future changes to the strategy developed at the meeting of relevant executive branch agencies and officials pursuant to clause (ix).

(4)

Report to Congress

Not later than 30 days after receiving the report required by paragraph (3)(B)(x), the President shall transmit the report and a response to the contents of the report to the appropriate congressional committees and make the report and the response to the report available to the public.

(5)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

AIDS

The term AIDS has the meaning given that term in subsection (f)(2)(C).

(B)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(i)

the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(ii)

the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(C)

Basic education

The term basic education has the meaning given that term in section 105A(d)(3) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

(D)

HIV

The term HIV has the meaning given that term in subsection (f)(2)(C).

(E)

HIV/AIDS

The term HIV/AIDS has the meaning given that term in subsection (f)(2)(C).

(F)

Relevant executive branch agencies and officials

The term relevant executive branch agencies and officials has the meaning given that term in section 105A(d)(10) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

.

(b)

Specification of resources of Coordinator

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall specify the necessary financial and personnel resources, including detailees, from funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subsection (j) of section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3 of this Act), that shall be assigned to and under the direct control of the Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Provide Education for All in Developing Countries (as established by subsection (g) of section 1 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (as added by subsection (a) of this section)) to establish and maintain the duties and supporting activities assigned to the Coordinator by section 1(g) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956.