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Letter to Chairman Obey Regarding the International Affairs Budget

June 22, 2009

Dear Chairman Obey:


On behalf of the National Education Association’s (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to offer our views on the International Affairs Budget, scheduled for consideration in the Appropriations Committee as part of the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill this week.

NEA believes that the International Affairs Budget is critical in helping the United States meet the enormous challenges of the 21st century.  In particular, we believe it is essential to ensure sufficient funding for educational projects around the world.  In places like Pakistan, such funding helps ensure that girls have access to a quality education and that sufficient teachers are trained to staff the increase in primary and secondary enrollments.

The International Affairs Budget also ensures that we can make crucial interventions in areas where basic services such as education are being decimated.  Our engagement in providing education funding helps the United States keep pace with the giving of other industrialized nations with funds that are a lifeline for education systems in developing nations.  With education funding, the United States makes an investment in the future economic stability of these nations. 

Given these urgent needs, we urge Congress to provide no less than the President’s requested $53.9 billion for the FY 2010 International Affairs Budget. 

We thank you for your consideration of our views on these important issues.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy