U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act of 2017 for an additional five years to require transparency and accountability on U.S. efforts to improve basic education for children around the globe.
“The reauthorization of the bipartisan READ Act would create strategies to provide clarity and transparency on the United States’ efforts to advance basic education in developing countries. This is an important step to help make up for the learning loss caused by COVID-19 and advance educational opportunities for children worldwide.” — Senator Rubio
“Given the terrible learning loss around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic and troubling backsliding on girls' education in places such as Afghanistan, reauthorizing the READ Act couldn't come at a more important time. Doing so will ensure U.S. development programs continue to focus on providing basic education around a sound, long-term strategy – one that includes making sure girls have access to schooling. This legislation has strong bipartisan support, which we saw through its original passage into law in 2017 and SFRC passage of this reauthorization last Congress. I hope we can get it through the Senate and signed into law in the 118th Congress.” — Senator Durbin
Background. The READ Act amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and states that it shall be the policy of the United States to work with partner countries, other donors, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and nongovernmental and civil society organizations, including faith-based organizations, to promote quality basic education through programs and activities that:
- Respond to the needs of developing countries to achieve improvements in literacy;
- Strengthen education systems and expands access to safe learning;
- Promote education as a foundation for sustained economic growth; and
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and quality of basic education programs in partner countries.