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Maximizing Education Funding to Leave No Child Behind

In News by and Dana Marion

Maximizing Education Funding to Leave No Child Behind

News | GCE-US

October 30th, 2023⼁Washington D.C. – Over 120 organizations [FY24 Conference Letter] call upon Congress to increase and protect international basic education and vulnerable children funding, as education needs around the world are greater than ever. With 222 million crisis-impacted children in need of urgent educational support, a number that tripled from an estimated 75 million in 2016, it would be devastating if funding for international basic education and vulnerable children programs were cut. 

Recognizing needs continue to outpace existing resources in a constrained environment, education is a force-multiplier with a high return on investment. For every $1 spent on education, as much as $15 is generated in economic growth. We urge Congress to provide no less than $970 million for the International Basic Education account in the FY24 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, including $130 million for the Global Partnership for Education and $30 million for Education Cannot Wait, as included in the HouseIn addition, we call for the House level of $32.5 million for the Vulnerable Children account, which is vital to support early childhood education. At-risk children and youth, teachers, families, and communities need our support to provide quality, inclusive education for all learners.

Around the world, girls, children and youth with disabilities, young people in crisis and emergency settings, and historically marginalized groups are facing interruptions to education that could lead to devastating generational losses to come. For example, reducing the U.S. government’s International Basic Education Funding by ⅓ would leave approximately 11 million of these children without access to school. These numbers display the detrimental effects of allocating fewer resources to education. 

According to a report published by the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, the UK government Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), USAID, and the Gates Foundation, learning poverty has increased by nearly two-thirds in low and middle income countries. These organizations estimate that approximately 70% of 10-year-old children in these nations struggle to read a simple written text. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the situation is even more dire, with 89% of ten-year-olds unable to read and understand a simple written text. As stated by UNESCO, sub-Saharan Africa faces the highest rates of education exclusion, with an estimated 182 million adults unable to read or write and over 1/5 of children between 6-11 out of school. One in three youths aged 12-14 lack access to any form of education. The GEM Report of 2023 reveals that in 2022, 250 million children and youth were out of school. These alarming statistics underscore the urgent need to prioritize education funding to address these growing challenges.

“Education must be at the forefront of U.S. global funding. Access to quality, inclusive education is essential to reducing learning poverty, reducing the disastrous effects of humanitarian crises, and shaping a more secure and peaceful world,” said Jennifer Rigg, Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Education-US. 

“It is to the benefit of all countries to include the United States to ensure that all children are given access to a basic quality education to ensure equity in achieving their fullest potential to become productive and able to contribute to their home or adopted countries,” said Rose Cardarelli, Founder and CEO of the Education for All Coalition.

“Access to education is a basic human right, one that needs to be protected at all costs,” said Kate Mallory, US Secretariat member at the Kailash Satyarthi’s Children Foundation 100 Million Campaign USA, “children are more shielded from human rights violations like child labor, child marriage, and similar dangerous situations once they are provided the chance to go to school.”

“Children with disabilities have the same right to education as all other children and shall enjoy this right without discrimination and on an equal basis with others”, said Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of Disability Rights International. “Exercise of the right to education and the right to live in a family is closely linked as a precondition for optimal development and prevention of institutionalization”.

It is critical that you let your Representatives and Senators know that you support investments in international basic education. Unified global advocacy can lay the foundation for stronger education systems around the world and support for at-risk children and youth, so we all can make the world a more safe and equal place. We look forward to working together to ensure quality, inclusive education for children and youth.

Please join in and add your voice today:

  1. Sign onto this important organizational letter:
  2. To contact your members of Congress, click here.
  3. Subscribe for action alerts to take action when your voice is most important here.