H. R. 2705
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 29, 2011
Mrs. Lowey (for herself and Mr. Reichert) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
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 quality universal basic education in all developing countries as an objective of United States foreign assistance policy, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Education for All Act of
Congress finds the following:
Throughout the world, an alarming number of children and youth are not receiving a basic education. According to the Global Monitoring Report, approximately 67,000,000 children of primary school age are not in school and tens of millions drop out of school annually. Globally, progress is slowing, and if current trends continue, there could be as many as 72,000,000 children of primary school age out of school in 2015. Additionally, there were an estimated 74,000,000 adolescents not enrolled in school and an estimated 130,000,000 youth (15 to 24 years old) who could not read and write in 2008.
Of the approximately 67,000,000 children of primary school age and 74,000,000 adolescents of lower secondary school age who were not in school in 2008, 53 percent were girls. The proportion of out-of-school primary age girls is highest in Arab states, Central Asia, South and West Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 43 percent of the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 40,000,000 live in countries affected by conflict and fragility. A significant number of such children have been orphaned or otherwise negatively affected by HIV/AIDS while others have been victims of child labor or human trafficking. Without access to quality education, such children will not have the skills to contribute to reconstruction and stabilization of their countries.
The final report
of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
(hereafter in this section referred to as the
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. The Center for Strategic and
International Studies’ Commission on Smart Power determined that
education is the best hope of turning young people away from violence
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 Education for All Goals and prevent the rise of violent extremism worldwide.
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.
The Report noted
that the United Nations has rightly equated
literacy as freedom,
and while gains have been made in Arab states in reducing the out-of-school
population, an estimated 28 percent of the adult population in the Arab states,
or 60,000,000 people, lack basic literacy or numeracy skills needed in everyday
concluded that ensuring educational opportunity is essential to the efforts of
the United States to defeat global terrorism and recommended that the United
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..
At the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to the 6 Education For All goals, including quality universal basic education.
Since the World Education Forum in 2000, the number of children out of school has decreased at an average approximate rate of 4,000,000 children per year. Despite this progress, the goal of achieving quality universal basic education will not be met, and 72,000,000 children may still be out of school by 2015, while millions of children in school are not acquiring foundational skills in literacy and numeracy.
The United States Agency for International Development’s bilateral assistance helps to deliver a quality basic education to 61,000,000 learners enrolled in United States Government-supported primary schools around the world. USAID has expertise in a number of key areas, including teacher training, reaching marginalized groups and quality measurement and has provided technical assistance to governments in order to create sustainable educational systems.
Basic education is fundamental to development. No country has reached sustained economic growth without achieving near universal primary education. Quality education reduces poverty and inequity, lays the foundation for sound governance, civic participation, and strong institutions, and equips people with the knowledge, skills, and self-reliance they need to increase income and expand opportunities for employment.
Investing in girls’ education delivers substantial returns not only in educational attainment but also in increasing women’s and household incomes, delaying the start of sexual activity, reducing infant mortality, increasing women’s political participation, spurring economic growth, and delaying marriage.
Education can help 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 gangs, and promote good governance and poverty reduction. Additionally, every additional year of schooling for males can reduce their risk of becoming involved in conflict by 20 percent.
In front line states, education remains a significant challenge. Of the 67,000,000 children of primary school age who are out of school, 28,000,000, or 42 percent, are in conflict-affected poor countries. In Yemen, nearly 80 percent of girls are unlikely to enroll in school, and in Afghanistan, girls average only 4 years of schooling.
Credible estimates indicate that approximately $16,000,000,000 per year of financing assistance is necessary for developing countries to achieve quality universal basic education.
Multilateral mechanisms have been proven to marshal significant resources to reach global development challenges. Funds that are transparent, increase partnership and coordination among governments, private sector, and civil society, support national plans, are monitored for results, and hold all stakeholders accountable have been effective at providing resources to reach global challenges.
Assistance to achieve quality universal basic education
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:
Assistance to achieve quality universal basic education
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 quality universal basic education agreed to at the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000.
It is the policy of the United States to work with other countries and international and civil society organizations in order to achieve quality universal basic education by—
assisting developing countries to provide all children with a quality basic education, including through strengthening host countries’ educational systems;
assisting nongovernmental and multilateral organizations working in developing countries to provide all children with a quality basic education; and
promoting education as the foundation for communities’ development, including integrating entrepreneurial and leadership training, disaster preparedness, conflict and violence prevention and mitigation, disease prevention and treatment, economic growth and agricultural activities, early childhood development, and democracy promotion into holistic assistance programs.
In developing the policy referred to in subsection (b), the United States shall be guided by the following principles:
United states resources
To lead a global commitment to achieving quality universal basic education in developing countries, including in countries affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, the United States shall commit substantial new resources for education in developing countries to expand access to quality educational opportunity and inspire confidence in such countries that efforts to reform education will receive adequate resources.
Integrated bilateral and multilateral approach to sustainable development
United States assistance shall integrate bilateral and multilateral assistance modalities within the strategy developed pursuant to subsection (e), to be directly responsive to host country needs, capacity, and commitment, and lead to sustainable development. The United States should contribute on a multilateral basis in a manner that leverages overall impact and best reinforces United States bilateral aid efforts, which should remain central to United States efforts in basic education. Bilateral and multilateral assistance should be undertaken in close partnership with nongovernmental organizations and other development partners, including women-led groups.
United states assistance to multilateral education initiatives
The United States shall support multilateral coordination and financing education initiatives, including the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative or a multilateral global fund for education. United States assistance shall build upon its comparative advantages and proficiencies in basic education programs, while leveraging the efforts of existing country-level development partnerships. Multilateral mechanisms should be aligned with globally established aid effectiveness principles, including—
alignment with recipient country priorities, education plans, and planning processes;
governance shared by donors, developing country governments, and civil society;
coordination among governments, multilateral organizations, private sector, and civil society;
mutual accountability between donors and recipients for achieving measurable results in access and quality;
transparency with respect to financing, policy decisions, and impact; and
predictable, long-term funding disbursed in a timely manner.
Other major donors
The United States Government should encourage other donors to contribute commensurate amounts to support quality universal basic education, through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and to coordinate their efforts with recipient countries, private entities, and other donors, in line with the principles of the Paris Declaration.
Private sector and nongovernmental participation and contributions
United States efforts shall include explicit strategies to encourage and integrate contributions of strategic direction and financial resources from local and international private sector and civil society organizations, including organizations that represent teachers, students, and parents, interested in supporting quality universal basic education efforts.
School access, quality, and completion
United States assistance for basic education in developing countries shall seek to expand access to quality schools and teachers for all children, particularly marginalized and vulnerable groups, including girls, children affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, children with disabilities, children in remote or rural areas, including those that lack access to safe water and sanitation, religious or ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, orphans and children impacted by HIV/AIDS, child laborers, and victims of trafficking; to promote gender equity; and to improve the quality of education, including foundational skills in literacy and numeracy, in order to increase the number of children completing and benefitting from a basic education.
Coordination within the united states government
The United States Government, led by the United States Agency for International Development, shall support improved 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, including efforts to provide a continuity of assistance for basic education in humanitarian and other emergency situations.
Support for communities of learning
United States assistance shall support the coordination of development assistance for the holistic development of communities, and where appropriate and to the extent practicable, utilize schools as the foundation for communities’ development and integrate assistance programs, including health and development programs, nutrition and school feeding programs, sanitation and hygiene education, adult literacy, leadership development, prevention of school-related violence, community gardens, entrepreneurial training, agricultural extension work, civic education, and housing programs.
Coordination with national education plans and economic development programs
United States assistance for basic education in developing countries shall be provided in collaboration and coordination with, where possible, national education plans, to reduce poverty and spur sustained economic growth, including through the promotion of the value of education and increasing community and family awareness of the positive impact of education. The United States shall seek to encourage developing countries to utilize schools as platforms for the development of communities. Such assistance, to the extent practicable, shall support programs and activities that are appropriate for and meet the needs of the local and indigenous cultures and carry out programs and activities through implementation by country-based civil society organizations that support national education plans.
United States assistance for basic education in developing countries shall include sufficient resources for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness and quality of basic education programs.
In this section:
The term HIV/AIDS has the meaning given that term in section 104A(h).
Appropriate congressional committees
The term appropriate congressional committees means—
the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
The term basic education—
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 that prepares an individual to be an active, productive member of society and the workforce; and
includes efforts to facilitate and support the activities described in subparagraph (A), including efforts to—
build the institutional capacity of a country to manage basic education systems and measure results;
construct and rehabilitate schools;
train quality teachers;
increase parent and community involvement in schools;
provide learning materials; and
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 Education for All, an international commitment to bring the benefits of basic education to every individual.
National education plan
The term national education plan means a comprehensive national education plan that—
may be developed in accordance with the provisions of the Education For All Fast-Track Initiative; and
includes explicit, credible strategies to achieve quality universal basic education, including strategies to—
address key constraints to achieving universal basic education in the areas of policy, data, capacity, gender equity, and financing; and
coordinate priorities within the elements of basic education, such as early childhood development, primary education, and secondary education (delivered in formal and nonformal settings), and training in literacy, numeracy, and other basic skills, including life and leadership skills, for adults and out-of-school youth, and priorities between basic education, workforce development, and higher education.
The term psychosocial support has the meaning given that term in section 135 (relating to assistance for orphans and other vulnerable children).
Relevant executive branch agencies and officials
The term relevant executive branch agencies and officials means—
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;
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, the Director of the Peace Corps, and the National Economic Advisor; and
any other department, agency, or official of the United States Government that participates in activities to promote quality universal basic education pursuant to the authorities of such department, agency, or official or pursuant to this Act.
INEE minimum standards
The term INEE Minimum Standards refers to standards for education developed by the Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies designed for use in emergency response, emergency preparedness, and in humanitarian advocacy, and applicable in a wide range of situations, including natural disasters and armed conflicts.
Development and implementation of a comprehensive united states strategy on education for all
The President shall develop a comprehensive integrated strategy of the United States to promote quality universal basic education that will—
seek to expand access to basic education for all children, particularly marginalized and vulnerable groups, including girls, children affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, children with disabilities, children in remote or rural areas, religious or ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, orphans and children impacted by HIV/AIDS, child laborers, and victims of trafficking, as well as to promote gender equity; and
improve the quality of basic education, particularly as reflected in measurable learning outcomes, as appropriate.
The strategy required by paragraph (1) shall be formulated and implemented in consideration of the principles set forth in subsection (c) and shall—
include specific objectives, indicators, including indicators to measure learning outcomes, and approaches to increase access and quality of basic education in developing countries;
seek to build capacity within developing countries for basic education programs in order to make progress toward the goal of achieving sustainable development;
outline how the United States Government will ensure a transition and continuity of educational activities in countries affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises;
assign priorities to relevant executive branch agencies and officials;
improve coordination and reduce duplication among relevant executive branch agencies and officials, foreign donor governments, and international organizations at the global and country levels;
project general levels of resources needed to achieve the stated objectives;
expand public-private partnerships in order to leverage resources;
target the activities of the United States to leverage contributions from other bilateral donors to provide quality universal basic education;
support efforts to reduce the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems, including by equipping teachers with skills needed for HIV/AIDS prevention and support for persons with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS;
promote gender equity and improve educational opportunities for women and girls, and strive to ensure safe schools, equal access, workforce opportunities, leadership role development, and the preservation of dignity and respect;
support local actors to review curricula, textbooks, and educational materials, with the goal of incorporating content on peace, human rights, and respect for diversity;
work with governments of conflict-affected states and governments assisting in preventing or limiting conflict to limit the effects of conflict on students, teachers, and schools and to promote and fund inclusive, good-quality education; to establish respect for schools as sanctuaries or zones of peace; to develop mechanisms to protect threatened students, teachers, and education personnel; and to develop ways to rapidly reconstruct, repair, and resupply attacked educational institutions and to support the continuation of education in alternative places or via alternative methods;
Communities of Learning approach that integrates, where
appropriate and to the extent practicable, school and educational programs with
health and development programs, nutrition and school feeding programs,
sanitation and hygiene education, adult literacy, leadership development,
prevention of school-related violence, community gardens, entrepreneurial
training, agricultural extension work, civic education, and housing programs;
maximize United States capabilities in the areas of technical assistance and training.
Global development strategy
The strategy required by paragraph (1) should be included in any overall U.S. global development strategy.
Requirement to consult
In developing the strategy required by paragraph (1), the President shall consult with—
the appropriate congressional committees;
relevant executive branch agencies and officials; and
nongovernmental organizations, including organizations representing students, teachers, and parents, and other development partners and individuals who are involved in the promotion and implementation of education assistance programs in developing countries.
The President shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the strategy required by paragraph (1).
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the Education for All Act of 2011, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth the strategy required by paragraph (1) and make the report available to the public.
Assistance To develop and implement national education plans
The President is authorized to provide funds and other assistance to assist foreign countries to create the policies, processes, and infrastructure to develop and implement national education plans, including both interim and comprehensive plans, to allow all children of such countries to access and complete a quality basic education.
Priority and other requirements
In providing assistance under this subsection, the President shall give priority to foreign countries in which there is the greatest need and 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. Priority should also be considered in countries where there are chronically underserved and marginalized populations that must be reached in order to achieve universal basic education.
Assistance provided under this subsection may be used to support efforts to expand access and to improve the quality of basic education, including efforts—
to ensure an adequate supply of trained quality teachers and to build systems to provide continuing support, training, and professional development for all educators;
to support the design and implementation of effective, relevant curricula;
to assist education authorities to improve education management practices and systems;
to promote the development and effective use of systems for monitoring and evaluating student-learning outcomes;
to provide adequate infrastructure;
to eliminate fees for educational services, including fees for tuition, uniforms, and materials as part of a comprehensive education financing plan;
to identify and replicate successful interventions that improve access to and quality of education;
to build systems to ensure continuing information collection, monitoring, and evaluation of education services and financing;
to ensure that schools are not incubators for violent extremism;
to provide human rights, gender equity, and conflict-resolution education;
to promote programs that teach civic education and life skills;
to take steps to make schools safe and secure places where children and youth, including girls and women, can learn without fear of violence, harassment, or exploitation, including—
promoting efforts at the national level to establish and enforce comprehensive legislation and strong policies against school-related violence;
supporting efforts and providing resources to train all teachers and school administrators on school-related violence;
working to ensure the safety of students during their travel to and from schools and on school grounds;
improving school infrastructure to increase safety, such as by constructing separate latrines for boys and girls;
carrying out programs for school and community participation on the unacceptability of violence;
providing counseling and support systems for students affected by school-related violence;
conducting national and baseline surveys to collect data on school-related violence, including against women and girls; and
providing programs that enable schools to continue providing education for the most poor or marginalized children, particularly adolescent girls, which includes flexible learning opportunities, accelerated and second chance classes, and opportunities that support leadership development;
to work with communities to achieve equity in schools and address gender norms to build support for girls’ education;
to support other initiatives that have demonstrated success in increasing access, improving learning outcomes, and increasing educational opportunities for the most disadvantaged populations, including girls, children affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, children with disabilities, children in remote or rural areas, religious or ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, orphans and children impacted by HIV/AIDS, child laborers, and victims of trafficking; and
to carry out other activities to support a Education for All Fast-Track Initiative or other multilateral Educational for All initiatives, including a multilateral global fund for education.
Additional activities supported for countries affected by conflict or crises
In addition to the activities supported under paragraph
(3), assistance provided under this subsection under the headings
Development Assistance and
Economic Support Funds
to foreign countries or those parts of the territories of foreign countries
that are affected by or emerging from armed conflict, humanitarian crises, or
other emergency situations may be used to support efforts—
to ensure a continuity of educational activities for all children as an essential humanitarian need and that all relevant executive branch agencies and officials collaborate and coordinate to help provide this continuity;
to ensure that education assistance of the United States Government to countries in emergency settings, including countries affected by or emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, shall be informed by the Minimum Standards of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE Minimum Standards);
wherever possible, to reestablish formal or provide support for formal and informal education services, or to complement services that are available to ensure that children are able to continue their education and to protect children from physical harm, psychological and social distress, recruitment into armed groups, family separation, and abuses related to their displacement;
to promote the creation of out-of-school programs and flexible-hour schooling in areas in which security prevents students from attending regular schools;
to provide safe spaces, especially for girls, with such facilities providing access to water, sanitation, health-related education, psychosocial support, and landmine awareness;
to provide funding for temporary and permanent education facility construction and minor rehabilitation and equipping of educational structures;
to provide essential educational services and materials that assist in building systems to support, train, and provide professional development for educators; and
to promote efforts to ensure the reintegration of teachers and students in conflict, whether refugees or internally displaced, into educational systems, including regional approaches where appropriate to coordinate and recognize the educational efforts of these teachers and students and other school systems.
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.
The report required by paragraph (1) shall include—
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;
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 quality universal basic education in the foreign country; and
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)(2).
Where possible, all data should be disaggregated by sex and age.
Relationship to other laws
The President shall exercise the authority provided in this section in accordance with other applicable law.
Authorization of appropriations
To carry out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the President such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012 and each subsequent fiscal year.
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.
Coordinator of United States Government actions to provide basic education assistance
Establishment of position
The Administrator of the United States Agency for
International Development shall designate an individual to serve as the
Coordinator of United States Government Actions to Provide Basic Education
Assistance (hereinafter in this section referred to as the
Effective upon the date on which the Administrator designates an individual to serve as Coordinator pursuant to paragraph (1), section 664 (b) and (c) of division J of Public Law 110–161 and section 7064(2) of division F of Public Law 111–117 are repealed.
The Coordinator, acting through such nongovernmental organizations (including organizations representing parents, teachers, and students, 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 to coordinate the promotion of quality universal basic education.
The Coordinator shall have primary responsibility for the oversight and coordination of all resources and international activities of the United States Government to promote quality universal basic education under section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3(a) of this Act) or any other provision of law.
The duties of the Coordinator shall specifically include the following:
Ensuring program and policy coordination among relevant executive branch agencies and officials and nongovernmental organizations, including coordination of auditing, monitoring, and evaluation of all such programs.
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.
Ensuring coordination of activities of relevant executive branch agencies and officials in the field in order to eliminate duplication.
Pursuing coordination with other countries and international organizations.
Resolving policy, program, and funding disputes among relevant executive branch agencies and officials.
Ensuring due diligence criteria for all recipients of funds to promote quality 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.
Convening meetings, as appropriate, but at least annually, of relevant executive branch agencies and officials to evaluate progress in carrying out the United States strategy developed pursuant to subsection (e) of section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3(a) of this Act) and recommend future changes to the strategy based upon such evaluation.
In this section:
The term basic education has the meaning given that term in subsection (d)(3) of section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3(a) of this Act).
Relevant executive branch agencies and officials
The term relevant executive branch agencies and officials has the meaning given that term in subsection (d)(7) of section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3(a) of this Act).
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 (i) of section 105A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3(a) of this Act), that shall be assigned to and under the direct control of the Coordinator to establish and maintain the duties and supporting activities assigned to the Coordinator by this section.