Basic Education

$800 million*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

Funding for USAID’s International Basic Education programs and the Global Partnership for Education alleviates poverty, fosters global stability and enhances U.S. global leadership.

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Justification for Funding

  • Globally, 264 million children and youth are out of school. Nearly 40% of the world’s children of primary age fail to acquire even basic literacy and numeracy skills.
  • The current USAID Education Strategy focuses on improving reading skills for 100 million learners, to develop the global workforce and build self-reliance.
  • In conflict and crisis, USAID supports safe learning opportunities for millions of kids.
  • Since 2011, U.S. funding has supported 151 basic education programs, reaching over 50 million learners in 51 countries and trained over 460,000 teachers, annually.
  • Support for the Global Partnership for Education has contributed to enrolling 64 million more children in primary school, and a 10% increase in primary school completion rates.

Cost of Cuts Below $800 Million

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • Progress will be less sustainable across all sectors. Basic education is a force multiplier, readying the youth for the workforce and decreasing future dependence on aid.
  • Without continued gains in girls’ secondary education, likelihood of child marriage, early pregnancy, sex-trafficking and HIV infection will increase.
  • Students living in conflict and crisis regions will miss out on the stabilizing influence, peace-building and conflict prevention skills gained in school.
  • If not fully addressed, the effects of the “learning crisis” - unemployment, poverty, inequality and   instability - could undermine entire economies and societies.

$925 million

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Additional Funding

  • 250 million children, globally, are failing to meet their early development milestones. USAID programs need to increase investments to reach children earlier.
  • Increasing levels of displaced children are in urgent need of the stability and hope provided by safe learning opportunities.
  • If current trends continue, by 2030, less than 10% of young people in low-income countries will be on track to gain secondary level skills and contribute to the global workforce.
  • The READ Act of 2017 prioritizes basic education in U.S. foreign assistance and signals a pivotal moment for increased coordination and effectiveness of basic education programs.

Impact of 15% More Funding

A single USAID program in Kenya more than tripled the percentage of students able to reach with fluency in English from 12% to 47%.

  • Build brain power early by increasing the number and quality of pre-primary programs.
  • Increase equity by investing more in girls’ secondary education.
  • Expand focus of current programs to include math, science, and critical thinking.
  • Create sustainability by extending the duration of educational programs for areas of
    protracted conflict and crisis situations.
  • Leverage additional resources from developing countries through support for the Global Partnership for Education.

*Enacted FY18 Omnibus Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Kevin Rachlin,

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