Senator Clinton Offers ’Education Plan for All’ Plan

Senator Clinton Offers ’Education Plan for All’ Plan

April 20, 2004 11:08 am (EST)

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Legislation is Designed to Reach Goal of Universal Education by 2015

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Washington, D.C. – In an address at the Council on Foreign Relations, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today unveiled legislation designed to provide universal basic education for all children throughout the world. Saying it is important to aim high, Senator Clinton pointed to the internationally recognized goal to get all children in school by 2015.

“We will fail to reach this goal unless poor countries themselves make a firm commitment to education and develop credible national education plans. But the developed world needs to step up its investment too,” said the Senator.

Although progress has been made in the past decade, the goal of universal education remains a distant one given the shortage of resources available. In her speech, the Senator referred to credible estimates that it will cost between $5 and $10 billion a year in external resources to reach the 2015 goal for primary education alone. The U.S. currently commits about $300 million for global education funding, and while Senator Clinton believes the nation can be proud of this, much more is needed.

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Senator Clinton’s Education for All proposal will significantly increase the availability of resources for global education and provide those resources to countries with strong national plans to educate their children. The bill provides $500 million in 2005, climbing to $2.5 billion by 2009. It will also establish a process to develop a comprehensive global strategy to reach the goal of universal education, while coordinating the efforts of the United States government.

“When I’m at home in New York, visiting communities from Albany to Buffalo to Harlem, I am reminded of how generous Americans are – but this isn’t just about being generous. It’s about being smart. Because in today’s world, we are all more secure when children and adults around the world are taught math and science – instead of hate,” said the Senator.

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Summary and Background

Legislation Responds to the Crisis of Out-of-School Children in Poor Countries

  • 104 million children ages 6-11 (60 million girls) in developing countries are out of school – (UNESCO 2003)

  • Another 150 million are at risk of dropping out before completing primary school. (World Bank Education Advisory Services). In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 55% of girls do not complete primary school. (World Bank 2003)

1) Donors had promised to get all children in school by 2015

  • In April 2000, at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, the U.S. and 181 governments committed to the goal of universal education. (See

  • The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals call for universal primary education by 2015 and gender parity by 2005. (See

2) But poor countries are at risk of missing key education goals by 2015

  • Only 36 of 155 developing countries have achieved 100 percent primary completion rates – only six countries in sub-Saharan Africa. 86 countries are off-track to reach universal completion of primary school by 2015 (World Bank 2003).

  • Already, 76 countries will miss the goal of gender parity in primary school classrooms by 2005. (UNESCO 2003)

Senator Clinton’s Education for All Proposal

* FIRST EDUCATION FOR ALL LEGISLATION: Amends the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to establish universal education in developing countries as a major priority of U.S. foreign assistance efforts.

* $2.5 BILLION BY 2009 TO FUND UNIVERSAL EDUCATION: Includes a bold new commitment of resources tied to strong standards of accountability and performance. It authorizes $500 million in 2005, increasing to $2.5 billion by 2009.

* CONTINGENT FUNDS FLOW ONLY TO COUNTRIES WITH STRONG EDUCATION PLANS: Funding will be contingent on countries developing strong national plans to get all children in school that include clear performance targets, systems of monitoring and accountability, and a commitment of their own financial resources. This mechanism will inspire countries to reform while ensuring that taxpayer dollars only go to countries where we’re confident it will reach children in need.

* A GLOBAL STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE EDUCATION FOR ALL (EFA) BY 2015: Establishes process for developing a comprehensive global strategy that strengthens and builds upon the Education For All Fast Track Initiative, an initiative developed in April 2002 that creates a set of benchmarks to monitor the efficiency and quality of national primary education plans, and presents a clear plan for how U.S. efforts will complement those of other donors to reduce duplication and waste. The strategy should leverage the strengths and contributions of private voluntary organizations that can play a critical role in helping countries reach these most vulnerable children.

* NEW HIGH-LEVEL EDUCATION FOR ALL COORDINATOR AND INTERAGENCY TASKFORCE: Creates a new coordinator and interagency task force, with representatives from all U.S. Government agencies involved in international education issues. Without creating a new bureaucracy, they will coordinate efforts to move the U.S. beyond piecemeal approaches and toward comprehensive plans to get all kids in school.


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