Facts on Education for All
Education fuels economic development, combats terrorism
- Today, more than ever before, education is a national security issue. As the bipartisan 9-11 Commission concluded, education must be a key element of any strategy to combat terrorism and quench the fires of fanaticism.
- Worldwide, 72 million children of primary school age are not in school, 60 percent of whom are girls. More than half these children live in fragile, conflict-affected states.
- Education will equip these children to contribute to reconstruction. Without it, they will be powerless to stabilize their countries, and we will lose yet another generation of children to war and disease.
- Basic education is fundamental to development. No country has attained sustained economic growth without near-universal primary education. Education reduces poverty, inequality, and provides a foundation for sound governance, civic participation, and strong societal institutions.
- At the 2000 World Education Forum, which NEA attended, the United States and 170 other countries committed to the goal of achieving universal basic education by 2015.
- Since then, the U.S. Congress has worked in a bipartisan manner to increase funding for basic education. The global community has formed the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, which helps donors work together to support poor nations committed to a national education plan for all their children.
- The Education for All Act of 2010 would place the United States squarely in a leadership role in the fight for universal access to education. It calls on the President to develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve this goal by 2015 and creates the position of Education for All Coordinator to oversee implementation of the strategy.
- The initial focus would be the most disadvantaged: girls living in poor, remote areas; child laborers; children with disabilities; victims of sex trafficking; and children orphaned by or at risk of developing AIDS.
- The Education for All Act supports activities to train teachers, build schools, develop effective curricula, and enhance access to school lunch and health programs. Schools could also serve as community and support centers that bring together parents, students, teachers, and government officials.