Announcement: Central America Funding

On June 17th, the State Department officially announced that it will not provide new funds for programs in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador until "we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. Border." BEC will continue to work with our allies in the community and in Congress in the coming weeks to push back against this decision.

Trafficking in Persons Report

The State Department released the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 20th. The Administration has the ability to apply sanctions and suspend some types of foreign assistance to countries that are designated as Tier 3 in the TIP report (countries that are deemed as not taking significant action to combat human trafficking). Here is the link to the 2019 report. It is important to note that Laos is no longer listed as Tier 3 in the 2019 report and should not be subject to any TIP report-related sanctions activity going forward. The DRC and South Sudan are once again listed as Tier 3 in the 2019 report, however no other countries that receive education funding from the U.S. were added to the Tier 3 category this year.

Appropriations

The House of Representatives’ FY2020 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill includes $925,000,000 for Basic Education, of which $100,000,000 is designated for the Global Partnership for Education and $25,000,000 is designated for Education Cannot Wait. The accompanying FY20 House appropriations report also includes positive language on foundational skills, local capacity building, leadership development, girls’ education, early childhood education, early childhood development, and cross-sectoral programming. The Senate's proposed FY20 funding levels will be released later this summer.

Basic Education Coalition Statement on Suspension of Aid to the Northern Triangle

Members of the Basic Education Coalition work in partnership with USAID every day in Central America to help children learn how to read, address gender-based violence in schools, provide trainings on evidence-based teaching practices, equip youth with the skills needed for a successful career, establish community-based service-learning programs, and expand access to learning materials and technology.

Suspending U.S. funding for these critical activities will only further exacerbate local tensions and decrease the likelihood that children in these communities will grow up safe, educated, and ready to pursue a vibrant and prosperous future.

BEC Statement on Passage of Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill

The Basic Education Coalition applauds Congress for sustaining funding for international basic education at $800,000,000 in the Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill. Congressional support for international education ensures that the United States will continue to be a leader in the effort to improve education opportunities around the world.

Rep Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to serve as Co-Chair of Congressional International Basic Education Caucus

The Basic Education Coalition is pleased to announce that Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) will be joining Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) as the new Co-Chair of the Congressional International Basic Education Caucus.

Congressman Fitzpatrick is a longstanding champion of foreign assistance and has continuously supported international education during his tenure in Congress. As Co-Chair of the Congressional International Basic Education Caucus, Congressman Fitzpatrick will serve as a leading voice in Congress on behalf of the millions of children around the world who struggle to gain access to a quality education.

Basic Education Coalition Statement on House FY2019 State and Foreign Operations Bill

The latest appropriations bill proposed by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives would cut U.S. support for international basic education by at least 36%. If enacted, this drastic reduction in funding for a critical component of U.S. foreign assistance would decrease our support for vulnerable children around the world and jeopardize the great development progress that we’ve made to date.

The Basic Education Coalition urges Congress to protect funding for vital U.S. international basic education programs. It is imperative that Members of Congress express their support to House leadership for the original funding level included in the House of Representatives fiscal year 2019 State and Foreign Operations bill to ensure that any final FY2019 appropriations agreement includes at least $800,000,000 for international basic education assistance.

Nov 15th, 2018 Govt Relations Update

As a result of the midterm election, there will be many changes in the upcoming 116th Congress. The most notable change is that the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives and will assume leadership of the House in January. In the next Congress, Democrats will Chair all House Congressional Committees and set the legislative agenda through office of the Speaker of the House. Both parties will hold leadership elections and announce Committee assignments for each chamber in the coming months.

Keeping Girls in School Act

This bill will be a great way for Congress to express support for international education for adolescent girls, and if passed would ensure that USAID continues to address the specific barriers that adolescent girls face in continuing their secondary education. KGISA also codifies the Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls into law and requires successive five-year renewals of the strategy. If your organization is interested in endorsing this legislation when it is introduced next week, please email Kirby (khenslee@basiced.org) for more information.

FY19 Appropriations

Appropriators in the House of Representatives and Senate are working diligently to try and pass as many of the 12 fiscal year 2019 annual appropriations bills as they can before the 2018 fiscal year ends on the 30th of this month.

Given that the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill has not been passed yet by either chamber of Congress, Congress will pass a short term Continuing Resolution by the end of the month that will fund SFOPS programs, including Basic Education, at current levels until December 7th.

USG International Ed Strategy Draft Released

USAID has released a draft whole-of-government strategy on international basic education and will be accepting feedback on the draft strategy from July 17th to July 22nd. The BEC Board of Directors will meet with USAID Senior Coordinator for Basic Education Julie Cram on Thursday, July 19th to provide in-person feedback and analysis on the draft strategy. If your organization has additional feedback to share with USAID, please feel free to submit written comments to Kirby (khenslee@basiced.org) or Beth (bjohnson@basiced.org) by 3:00 PM on Wednesday, July 18th.

Congressional Letter to USAID on USG Intl Ed Strategy

Letter from Congress to USAID Administrator Mark Green on Education Strategy: BEC worked closely with Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) on a letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green that expresses support for the U.S. strategy on international basic education. The letter is closely aligned to BEC’s policy recommendations and we are glad to announce that the bipartisan Congressional letter gained 21 cosigners in the House of Representatives and was well-received by staff at USAID.

 

Funding, Self-Reliance Metrics, and USAID Progress Report

Basic Education Funding: In the fiscal year 2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations (SFOPS) Bill, the House of Representatives level funded the basic education account at $800 million, with $90 million designated for GPE. The Senate SFOPS bill includes $515 million for the basic education account and $90 million for GPE. The House and Senate have both passed their respective bills out of committee, but neither has passed the bill in the full chamber. BEC will continue to advocate to Congress to include the higher funding level from the House bill in any final agreement that will be made in bicameral conference negotiations.

We’re also glad to see that this year’s House of Representatives’ SFOPS report contains several of our community’s recommendations, including an increased focus on early childhood education, school-based integrating programing, and local engagement and ownership of development programs.

Community Letter Supporting House Appropriations Funding Level and Report Language: BEC is joining the Global Campaign for Education, RESULTS, and others in a letter to senior appropriators that expresses support for the House of Representatives funding level and report language on international basic education in the final fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill. If your organization is interested in joining this effort, please let Kirby (khenslee@basiced.org) know by close of business on Thursday, July 19th.

USAID Self-Reliance Metrics: USAID has released metrics for self-reliance which will be used to assess countries’ overall development progress. The metric for education is a World Bank indicator which measures student achievement in reading through comparative cross-country international tests by examining the percentage of students attaining a minimum proficiency in reading at the end of primary school.

2018 USAID Progress Report: In June, USAID published a new progress report which provides an updated assessment of the progress made under the 2011-2018 education strategy.

FY19 Funding Update

On June 13, 2018 the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee in the House of Representatives provided $800,000,000 in funding for basic education in the Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. Of the $800,000,000 allocated to basic education, $90,000,000 is made available for multilateral support.