"Basic Education" refers to the foundational knowledge, skills, and perspectives that children generally acquire in pre-primary through secondary school. The U.S. has helped low-income countries provide basic education to their children since the 1970's. Read the rationale and impact of this investment. 

U.S. Government funding is available for international basic education programs through two primary sources within the Function 150 (International Affairs) account: Development Assistance (DA) and the Economic Support Fund (ESF). These funds are administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State (DoS), and the programs they support are implemented by nongovernmental organizations (many of whom are BEC members).  

USAID's 2011-2015 Education Strategy (extended through 2018) authorizes 3 main goals for international Basic Education programs funded through the DA account: 1) Improved reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015; 2) Improved ability of tertiary and workforce development programs to generate workforce skills relevant to a country’s development goals; and 3) Increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners by 2015. 

Watch: Education Equity 101

USAID  Education Strategy  2011-2015

USAID Education Strategy 2011-2015

Banner photo: Students learning to read in a Georgian primary school. Chemonics International.