Washington, DC – On July 6, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs recommended that international basic education be funded at $975 million for the coming fiscal year (FY 2021) and an additional $150 million in emergency COVID-19 funding to support basic and higher education needs during the pandemic. The full House Appropriations Committee approved the bill this Thursday on July 9, 2020.
The Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) is grateful to long-time education leader Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY), and the Members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) for their recommendation to fund international basic education annually and during emergencies.
Chairwoman Lowey said:
"We have advanced equity and opportunity for women, so that they, their children, and their communities might prosper.
As I have often said, education is the single greatest force multiplier in foreign aid, contributing to many of our other successes.
That is why I am particularly proud of the record levels of U.S. assistance for basic education for more than 80 million children around the world, especially girls."
GCE-US greatly appreciates the hard work of the Subcommittee members and staff to shepherd this vital appropriation through Congress swiftly. Representative Lowey, who also serves as Chairwoman of the full House Appropriations Committee, last year announced her retirement at the end of this session of Congress. GCE-US applauds Chairwoman Lowey’s incredible leadership over her service in Congress and encourages all to continue the vital bipartisan efforts to fully fund global education. We welcome the bipartisan acknowledgement of Chairwoman Lowey's dedication to global education by renaming the Nita M. Lowey Basic Education Fund in her honor. This bipartisan tribute reflects Chairwoman Lowey’s lifelong commitment to education, especially for girls.
We urge the U.S. government to support education for children in need with $975 million for international basic education in the final FY 2021 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, including strong support for bilateral programs as well as $125 million for the Global Partnership for Education, which strengthens education systems in developing countries, and $50 million for Education Cannot Wait, which improves life-saving educational opportunities for children and youth affected by conflict and crisis around the world.
Education around the world is even more critical now that over 1 billion children have had their education interrupted due to COVID-19. For this reason, it is crucial that we do not lose sight of the escalating threats from COVID-19 that are impacting children’s access to education across the globe. Therefore, GCE-US urges Congress to include in forthcoming COVID-19 supplemental funding $300 million for international basic education, of which $50 million is for the Global Partnership for Education and at least $5 million for Education Cannot Wait. These investments are critical in ensuring long-term, sustainable international support while facing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
The entire House subcommittee bill can be found here. The provision for international basic education starts on page 259, with the following language:
(1) BASIC EDUCATION.—
(A) Of the funds appropriated under title III of this Act, not less than $975,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for basic education, and such funds may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law that restricts assistance to foreign countries: Provided, That such funds shall also be used for secondary education activities: Provided further, That of the funds made available by this paragraph not less than $150,000,000 shall be available for the education of girls in areas of conflict: Provided further, That the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations, may reprogram such funds between countries: Provided further, That funds made available under the headings ‘‘Development Assistance’’ and ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’ for the support of non-state schools in this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.
(B) Of the funds appropriated under title III of this Act for assistance for basic education programs, not less than $125,000,000 shall be made available for contributions to multilateral partnerships that support education.
Further, on page 300:
For an additional amount for ‘‘Development Assistance’’, $900,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2022, for necessary expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including to address related economic, and stabilization requirements, of which not less than $150,000,000 shall be made available to maintain access to basic education and to not-for-profit institutions of higher education for costs related to the consequences of coronavirus…
GCE-US encourages members of Congress to support this critical FY2021 funding for international basic education.
The Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) is a broad-based coalition (click here for a complete list of our coalition members) of national and community-based organizations, international NGOs, teacher unions, faith-based groups, and advocates dedicated to ensuring universal, quality, inclusive education for all children and youth.
GCE-US, along with our members and partners, is advocating for global education funding. Please join in to help children around the world and add your voice today. To send a letter to your members of Congress, click here.