Equity & Diversity

More Funding Urged For ‘Education for All’

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — April 29, 2008 2 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For more than 72 million children around the globe, school is not yet an option. Advocates of universal schooling were in Washington last week hoping to persuade federal lawmakers to increase the United States’ contribution for an international effort to make basic education available for all the world’s primary-age children.

U.S. officials would have to double the nation’s pledge to the undertaking over the next year—to $1 billion—and boost it to $3 billion annually over the next five years to meet what is deemed to be its share of the cost of reaching the Education for All goal by 2015. Bills to do so were introduced in Congress last May. Measures introduced in previous years have not made it out of committee.

“The fact that the United States is giving one-fifteenth or one-sixteenth as much compared to our population and income as other countries is something we find very unsettling,” said Gene Sperling, who chairs the U.S. chapter of the Global Campaign for Education, an organization that promotes education as a human right. While the U.S. contribution has increased over the past several years, “we think the American people would support far more,” added Mr. Sperling.

Although the effort is part of a long-term initiative begun in 1990—when more than 150 countries pledged to contribute—it is now complicated by a growing food shortage in many parts of the world, said Robert B. Zoellick, the president of the World Bank.

The annual request for the United States to contribute what is deemed its share of the cost of reaching the goal comes at a time when the country is in the midst of a deepening economic slowdown. And international aid groups are also asking for extra money to help the United Nation’s World Food Program tackle food shortages in Haiti, Ethiopia, and other places.

Shakira, a Grammy-award-winning singer from Colombia, was among those lobbying members of Congress for increased funding. She sponsors several schools in her native country, serving more than 4,000 poor children. The schools provide daily meals as an incentive for parents to send them to school, she said.

“I grew up in the developing world, and the children in my country beg for an education,” Shakira said in a conference call with reporters. “Where I come from, because of the lack of educational opportunities, people who are born poor will die poor.”

‘Passport to a Better Life’

The United Kingdom has surpassed its share of funding for the program, which is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Last year, British officials pledged $1.5 billion a year for 10 years to the Education for All campaign.

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters that he will meet with world leaders at upcoming summits to urge them to give more to the venture.

“We believe that education can be the passport to a better life” for people in developing nations, he said during the conference call.

Mr. Zoellick noted the relative prosperity of the United States and many European nations in the 20th century following the introduction of universal schooling. In the poorest countries, improved schooling is credited with lower infant- and maternal-mortality rates, lower rates of disease, and improved wages.

The World Bank is giving $2.2 billion to the program in fiscal 2008. Education for All—which promotes reduced school fees, gender equity, and teacher training—has been credited with helping to reduce the out-of-school population by more than 20 million since 1999.

A version of this article appeared in the April 30, 2008 edition of Education Week as More Funding Urged For ‘Education for All’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Should College Essays Touch on Race? Some Feel the Affirmative Action Ruling Leaves Them No Choice
After the end of affirmative action, the college essay is one of the few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions.
8 min read
Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school on March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person."
Hillary Amofa listens to others member of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school on March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago, and then deleted it all to avoid sounding like she was "trauma-dumping."
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Equity & Diversity Teacher, Students Sue Arkansas Over Ban on Critical Race Theory
A high school teacher and two students asked a federal judge to strike down the restrictions as unconstitutional.
2 min read
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs an education overhaul bill into law, March 8, 2023, at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. On Monday, March 25, 2024, a high school teacher and two students sued Arkansas over the state's ban on critical race theory and “indoctrination” in public schools, asking a federal judge to strike down the restrictions as unconstitutional.
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs an education overhaul bill into law, March 8, 2023, at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark.
Andrew DeMillo/AP
Equity & Diversity Opinion What March Madness Can Teach Schools About Equity
What if we modeled equity in action in K-12 classrooms after the resources provided to college student-athletes? asks Bettina L. Love.
3 min read
A young student is celebrated like a pro athlete for earning an A+!
Chris Kindred for Education Week
Equity & Diversity What's Permissible Under Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law? A New Legal Settlement Clarifies
The Florida department of education must send out a copy of the settlement agreement to school boards across the state.
4 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media, March 7, 2023, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. Students and teachers will be able to speak freely about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms under a settlement reached March 11, 2024 between Florida education officials and civil rights attorneys who had challenged a state law which critics dubbed “Don't Say Gay.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media, March 7, 2023, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. Students and teachers will be able to speak freely about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms under a settlement reached March 11, 2024, between Florida education officials and civil rights attorneys who had challenged the state's “Don't Say Gay” law.
Phil Sears/AP