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Letter to the House on the Education for All Act (H.R. 4481)

June 15, 2016

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA) and the students they serve, we urge you to Vote Yes on the Education for All Act (H.R. 4481) introduced by Reps. Lowey (D-NY) and Reichert (R-WA), scheduled for markup Thursday. This bill builds upon current U.S. efforts to ensure equal access to quality education for children throughout the world which is an essential element to the success and sustainability of U.S. national and international interests. Votes associated with this issue may be included on the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress.

The Education for All Act works toward reaching the 124 million children and youth around the world who remain out of school, and improves the quality of education for those already enrolled. Specifically, the legislation calls for:

  • Developing a comprehensive integrated U.S. strategy that improves educational opportunities and addresses key barriers to school attendance, retention and completion for all children;
  • Ensuring a continuum of education services for children affected by conflict and other emergencies;
  • Coordinating U.S. government efforts to efficiently and effectively manage resources;
  • Working with countries to strengthen systems in order to build long-term sustainability;
  • Engaging with key partners including other donors, civil society and multilateral global education initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education, to leverage U.S. contributions to achieve a greater overall impact;
  • Requiring specific indicators and objectives with which to measure progress in improved access to quality basic education in developing countries; and
  • Improving the transparency and accountability of our basic education programs, ensuring taxpayer dollars have the most impact for children worldwide.

Achieving these goals means helping provide education and the hope of a better future for millions of vulnerable and marginalized populations living in dangerous and difficult circumstances, including the poor, people with disabilities, and women and girls. Without a basic education, children are more vulnerable to the pull of extremist groups, at greater risk to infectious and deadly diseases, and more likely targets for forced labor, trafficking, and child marriage. Research has shown that each additional year of formal schooling for males reduces their risk of becoming involved in conflict by 20 percent.

Again, we urge you to Vote Yes on the Education for All Act. This bill is a critical investment in U.S. national security and economic growth, a reduction in global poverty, and a demonstration of American values. We look forward to your support of this important piece of legislation.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations