WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Co-Chair of the International Basic Education Caucus, Mike Quigley (D-IL), Founder and Co-Chair of the bipartisan International Basic Education Caucus, and Grace Meng (D-NY), Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, have introduced a bipartisan resolution that reaffirms U.S. support of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The bipartisan resolution highlights how nearly two billion students, in more than 190 countries, have been affected by the closures of educational institutions at the peak of the COVID–19 pandemic. Prior to the global health crisis, an estimated 258 million children and adolescents were out of school worldwide, with girls and children with disabilities more likely to be out of school in most of the developing world. To recognize the challenges students are facing across the globe, the resolution calls for:
- U.S. leadership and commitment to improving access to quality, inclusive public education;
- Multi-year pledges from the U.S. to allow GPE to maximize its impact in supporting governments to provide this education; and
- The State Department and USAID to promote children and youth attending school around the world.
"The Global Partnership for Education is a critical ally in our mission to improve education outcomes worldwide," said Quigley and Fitzpatrick. "With the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on access to education, especially for the most marginalized groups, Congress' support for GPE's work is all-the-more important."
“COVID-19 created an unprecedented learning crisis for nearly 2 billion students globally. The consequences of missed school for these students—especially girls and children with disabilities—means we must reinvigorate U.S. leadership in international basic education programs, including the Global Partnership for Education,” said Meng. “I am honored to lead a bipartisan resolution with Representatives Quigley and Fitzpatrick that underscores the need for U.S. leadership to ensure students have the tools to succeed. I look forward to the House passing our resolution and working with the Biden-Harris Administration to realize its goals and values.”
“The coronavirus has pushed billions of students out of school, creating a learning crisis that puts vulnerable children in low-income countries at an even greater disadvantage,” said Tom Hart, North America Executive Director at The ONE Campaign. “In order to help today’s children become tomorrow’s doctors, educators, engineers, and farmers, we must ensure all children have the educational tools they need to unlock their full potential. ONE thanks Representatives Grace Meng, Brian Fitzpatrick and Mike Quigley for their leadership on this important issue and we urge their colleagues to support full funding for the Global Partnership for Education this year.”
“We know education is one of our most powerful tools in reducing poverty and inequality, and it’s only more urgent in the wake of the pandemic,” said Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director for RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund. “Quality education must be a right, not a privilege, and the Global Partnership for Education plays an essential role in making that a reality. We are tremendously grateful to Rep. Meng, Rep. Fitzpatrick, and Rep. Quigley for their bipartisan leadership to support GPE, and hope that Congress will lay the groundwork for a bold U.S. pledge this summer, starting with $150 million for GPE for Fiscal Year 2022.”
“Children around the world have lost more than a third of their school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nearly 10 million children are at risk of never returning to school,” said Janti Soeripto, President and CEO of Save the Children. “The world must step up its support for quality and inclusive education and the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment this year is a critical opportunity to do so. We are grateful for Congress’ strong bipartisan leadership in support of GPE.”
Founded in 2020, the Global Partnership for Education is the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries. Last year’s congressional spending bill included $125 million for GPE.
Cosponsors of Meng, Quigley, and Fitzpatrick’s measure include: Reps. Brendan Boyle, Tony Cárdenas, Judy Chu, Gerald Connolly, Lois Frankel, Sheila Jackson Lee, Derek Kilmer, Jim McGovern, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Bobby Rush, Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Albio Sires, Thomas Suozzi, Dina Titus, and Peter Welch.
The bipartisan resolution is endorsed by ONE Campaign, RESULTS, Save the Children, UNICEF USA, and Global Campaign for Education.