Nita M. Lowey (Democrat – New York) introduced H.R. 601, the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development Act” or the “READ Act”, on January 23, 2017.
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a verbal 2/3 vote and was delivered to the Senate.
The act is to enhance transparency and to increase the impact of assistance for providing basic education in developing countries. The assistance is provided under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the goal of the READ act is to better enable these countries to achieve universal education access, improved outcomes, and to eliminate waste and duplication of efforts, among other purposes.
Priority within the bill is to expand education to marginalized groups, including women and girls to ensure gender parity and in populations affected by conflict or crisis.
The bill requires the President to consult with congressional committees, relevant Executive branch agencies and officials, partner country government, and local and international non-government organizations, including faith-based organizations and student, teacher, and parent organizations as well as other educational assistance programs while developing the strategy required to expand education access.
The program will prioritize partner countries of the U.S.
The bill also requires establishment of review criteria to improve coordination and oversight of the program. The programs will be monitored and evaluated to determine if the programs achieve measurable improvement in reading, math and other basic skills.
An annual report will be required on the implementation of the program and will be made available to the public.
Representative David G. Reichert (Republican-WA)