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Rubio, Durbin Push for More Accountability on Education Programs in Developing Countries

Mar 14, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today reintroduced the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act, legislation that would provide additional accountability for existing U.S. programs to improve basic education in developing countries. 

“Whether it is at home or abroad, access to basic education is integral to the foundation of a stable and prosperous society, this is especially true in developing or war-torn countries” said Rubio. “Every day, millions of children around the world are denied access to basic education, making them vulnerable to poverty, abuse, and extremism. The U.S. plays a critical role in helping countries eliminate barriers to children—particularly girls—accessing basic education. The READ Act furthers our objectives abroad while giving Congress oversight of how our taxpayer dollars are being spent.”

“Providing children, particularly girls, with a quality education empowers them to improve the lives of their families and change the course of nations,” said Durbin. “The READ Act will help unleash the potential of children across the globe and arm them with the necessary tools to break the cycles of poverty, violence, and extremism.”

Around the world, approximately 59 million primary school-age children do not attend school. The READ Act would promote sustainable and quality basic education for children in developing or war-torn countries; develop a comprehensive U.S. strategy to promote basic education by addressing key barriers to schooling, particularly for girls; improve coordination, transparency, and accountability of U.S. basic education programs; and require an annual report to Congress of a comprehensive analysis of U.S. government programs.

U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced the companion bill in the House, which passed it in January.