Durbin, Rubio Reintroduce Legislation To Promote Education Abroad

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today reintroduced legislation to expand educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children. The Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (READ) Act addresses barriers to school attendance, retention, and completion in developing countries by leveraging U.S. contributions through collaboration with governments, civil society, and global education initiatives.

Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced its companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it passed by voice vote in January.

“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."

Over 124 million children and adolescents around the world are not currently enrolled in school. More than half are girls or live in fragile or conflict-affected states, and more than forty percent live in sub-Saharan Africa. Tens of millions of school-aged children who start primary school drop out, and millions more are denied a secondary school education.