[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 601 Reported in Senate (RS)]

<DOC>





                                                       Calendar No. 116
115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 601


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 30, 2017

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

                              June 5, 2017

                Reported by Mr. Corker, with amendments
  [Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To enhance the transparency and accelerate the impact of assistance 
 provided under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to promote quality 
    basic education in developing countries, to better enable such 
 countries to achieve universal access to quality basic education and 
improved learning outcomes, to eliminate duplication and waste, and for 
                            other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Reinforcing 
Education Accountability in Development Act'' or the ``READ Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Assistance to promote sustainable, quality basic education.
Sec. 4. Comprehensive integrated United States strategy to promote 
                            basic education.
Sec. 5. Improving coordination and oversight.
Sec. 6. Monitoring and evaluation of programs.
Sec. 7. Transparency and reporting to Congress.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) Appropriate Congressional Committees.--In this Act, the term 
``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
            (1) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
            (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
            (3) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
        Representatives; and
            (4) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives.
    (b) Other Definitions.--In this Act, the terms ``basic education'', 
``marginalized children and vulnerable groups'', ``national education 
plan'', ``partner country'', and ``relevant Executive branch agencies 
and officials'' have the meanings given such terms in section 105(c) of 
the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by section 3.

SEC. 3. ASSISTANCE TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE, QUALITY BASIC EDUCATION.

    Section 105 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151c) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(c) Assistance To Promote Sustainable, Quality Basic Education.--
            ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Basic education.--The term `basic education' 
                includes--
                            ``(i) measurable improvements in literacy, 
                        numeracy, and other basic skills development 
                        that prepare an individual to be an active, 
                        productive member of society and the workforce;
                            ``(ii) workforce development, vocational 
                        training, and digital literacy informed by real 
                        market needs and opportunities and that results 
                        in measurable improvements in employment;
                            ``(iii) programs and activities designed to 
                        demonstrably improve--
                                    ``(I) early childhood, preprimary 
                                education, primary education, and 
                                secondary education, which can be 
                                delivered in formal or nonformal 
                                education settings; and
                                    ``(II) learning for out-of-school 
                                youth and adults; and
                            ``(iv) capacity building for teachers, 
                        administrators, counselors, and youth workers 
                        that results in measurable improvements in 
                        student literacy, numeracy, or employment.
                    ``(B) Communities of learning.--The term 
                `communities of learning' means a holistic approach to 
                education and community engagement in which schools act 
                as the primary resource center for delivery of a 
                service to the community at large, leveraging and 
                maximizing the impact of other development efforts and 
                reducing duplication and waste.
                    ``(C) Gender parity in basic education.--The term 
                `gender parity in basic education' means that girls and 
                boys have equal access to quality basic education.
                    ``(D) Marginalized children and vulnerable 
                groups.--The term `marginalized children and vulnerable 
                groups' includes girls, children affected by or 
                emerging from armed conflict or humanitarian crises, 
                children with disabilities, children in remote or rural 
                areas (including those who lack access to safe water 
                and sanitation), religious or ethnic minorities, 
                indigenous peoples, orphans and children affected by 
                HIV/AIDS, child laborers, married adolescents, and 
                victims of trafficking.
                    ``(E) National education plan.--The term `national 
                education plan' means a comprehensive national 
                education plan developed by partner country governments 
                in consultation with other stakeholders as a means for 
                wide-scale improvement of the country's education 
                system, including explicit, credible strategies 
                informed by effective practices and standards to 
                achieve quality universal basic education.
                    ``(F) Nonformal education.--The term `nonformal 
                education' means organized educational activities 
                outside the established formal system, whether 
                operating separately or as an important feature of a 
                broader activity, that are intended to provide students 
                with measurable improvements in literacy, numeracy, and 
                other basic skills development that prepare an 
                individual to be an active, productive member of 
                society and the workforce.
                    ``(G) Partner country.--The term `partner country' 
                means a developing country that participates in or 
                benefits from basic education programs under this 
                subsection pursuant to the prioritization criteria 
                described in paragraph (4), including level of need, 
                opportunity for impact, and the availability of 
                resources.
                    ``(H) Relevant executive branch agencies and 
                officials.--The term `relevant Executive branch 
                agencies and officials' means the Department of State, 
                the United States Agency for International Development, 
                the Department of the Treasury, the Department of 
                Labor, the Department of Education, the Department of 
                Agriculture, and the Department of Defense, the Chief 
                Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge 
                Corporation, the National Security Advisor, and the 
                Director of the Peace Corps.
                    ``(I) Sustainability.--The term `sustainability' 
                means, with respect to any basic education program that 
                receives funding pursuant to this section, the ability 
                of a service delivery system, community, partner, or 
                beneficiary to maintain, over time, such basic 
                education program without the use of foreign 
                assistance.
            ``(2) Policy.--In carrying out this section, it shall be 
        the policy of the United States to work with partner countries, 
        as appropriate, other donors, multilateral institutions, the 
        private sector, and nongovernmental and civil society 
        organizations, including faith-based organizations and 
        organizations that represent teachers, students, and parents, 
        to promote sustainable, quality basic education through 
        programs and activities that--
                    ``(A) take into consideration and help respond to 
                the needs, capacities, and commitment of developing 
                countries to achieve measurable improvements in 
                literacy, numeracy, and other basic skills development 
                that prepare an individual to be an active, productive 
                member of society and the workforce;
                    ``(B) strengthen educational systems, promote 
                communities of learning, as appropriate, expand access 
                to safe learning environments, including by breaking 
                down specific barriers to basic education for women and 
                girls, ensure continuity of education, including in 
                conflict settings, measurably improve teacher skills 
                and learning outcomes, and support the engagement of 
                parents in the education of their children to help 
                partner countries ensure that all children, including 
                marginalized children and other vulnerable groups, have 
                access to and benefit from quality basic education;
                    ``(C) promote education as a foundation for 
                sustained economic growth and development within a 
                comprehensive assistance strategy that places partner 
                countries on a trajectory toward graduation from 
                assistance provided under this section with clearly 
                defined benchmarks of success that are used as 
                requirements for related procurement vehicles, such as 
                grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements; and
                    ``(D) monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and 
                quality of basic education programs in partner 
                countries.
            ``(3) Principles.--In carrying out the policy referred to 
        in paragraph (2), the United States shall be guided by the 
        following principles of aid effectiveness:
                    ``(A) Alignment.--Assistance provided under this 
                section to support programs and activities under this 
                subsection shall be aligned with and advance United 
                States foreign policy and economic interests.
                    ``(B) Country ownership.--To the greatest extent 
                practicable, assistance provided under this section to 
                support programs and activities under this subsection 
                should be aligned with and support the national 
                education plans and country development strategies of 
                partner countries, including activities that are 
                appropriate for and meet the needs of local and 
                indigenous cultures.
                    ``(C) Coordination.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Assistance provided 
                        under this section to support programs and 
                        activities under this subsection should be 
                        coordinated with and leverage the unique 
                        capabilities and resources of local and 
                        national governments in partner countries, 
                        other donors, multilateral institutions, the 
                        private sector, and nongovernmental and civil 
                        society organizations, including faith-based 
                        organizations and organizations that represent 
                        teachers, students, and parents.
                            ``(ii) Multilateral programs and 
                        initiatives.--Assistance provided under this 
                        section to support programs and activities 
                        under this subsection should be coordinated 
                        with and support proven multilateral education 
                        programs and financing mechanisms, which may 
                        include the Global Partnership for Education, 
                        that demonstrate commitment to efficiency, 
                        effectiveness, transparency, and 
                        accountability.
                    ``(D) Efficiency.--The President shall seek to 
                improve the efficiency and effectiveness of assistance 
                provided under this section to support programs and 
                activities under this subsection by coordinating the 
                related efforts of relevant Executive branch agencies 
                and officials.
                    ``(E) Effectiveness.--Programs and activities 
                supported under this subsection--
                            ``(i) shall be consistent with the policies 
                        and principles set forth in this subsection;
                            ``(ii) shall be designed to achieve 
                        specific, measurable goals and objectives that 
                        are directly related to the provision of basic 
                        education (as defined in this section); and
                            ``(iii) shall include appropriate targets, 
                        metrics, and indicators that--
                                    ``(I) move a country along the path 
                                to graduation from assistance provided 
                                under this subsection; and
                                    ``(II) can be applied with 
                                reasonable consistency across such 
                                programs and activities to measure 
                                progress and outcomes.
                    ``(F) Transparency and accountability.--Programs 
                and activities supported under this subsection shall be 
                subject to rigorous monitoring and evaluation, which 
                may include impact evaluations, the results of which 
                shall be made publically available in a fully 
                searchable, electronic format.
            ``(4) Priority and other requirements.--The President shall 
        ensure that assistance provided under this section to support 
        programs and activities under this subsection is aligned with 
        the foreign policy and economic interests of the United States 
        and, subject to such alignment, priority is given to developing 
        countries in which--
                    ``(A) there is the greatest need and opportunity to 
                expand access to basic education and to improve 
                learning outcomes, including for marginalized and 
                vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls to 
                ensure gender parity in basic education, or populations 
                affected by conflict or crisis; and
                    ``(B) such assistance can produce a substantial, 
                measurable impact on children and educational 
                systems.''.

SEC. 4. COMPREHENSIVE INTEGRATED UNITED STATES STRATEGY TO PROMOTE 
              BASIC EDUCATION.

    (a) Strategy Required.--Not later than October 1, 2017, the 
President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
comprehensive United States strategy to be carried out during fiscal 
years 2018 through 2022 to promote quality basic education in partner 
countries by-- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate 
congressional committees a comprehensive United States strategy to be 
carried out during the following five fiscal years to promote quality 
basic education in partner countries by--
            (1) seeking to equitably expand access to basic education 
        for all children, particularly marginalized children and 
        vulnerable groups; and
            (2) measurably improving the quality of basic education and 
        learning outcomes.
    (b) Requirement To Consult.--In developing the strategy required 
under subsection (a), the President shall consult with--
            (1) the appropriate congressional committees;
            (2) relevant Executive branch agencies and officials;
            (3) partner country governments; and
            (4) local and international nongovernmental organizations, 
        including faith-based organizations and organizations 
        representing students, teachers, and parents, and other 
        development partners engaged in basic education assistance 
        programs in developing countries.
    (c) Public Comment.--The President shall provide an opportunity for 
public comment on the strategy required under subsection (a).
    (d) Elements.--The strategy required under subsection (a)--
            (1) shall be developed and implemented consistent with the 
        principles set forth in section 105(c) of the Foreign 
        Assistance Act of 1961, as added by section 3; and
            (2) shall seek--
                    (A) to prioritize assistance provided under this 
                subsection to countries that are partners of the United 
                States and whose populations are most in need of 
                improved basic education, as determined by indicators 
                such as literacy and numeracy rates;
                    (B) to build the capacity of relevant actors in 
                partner countries, including in government and in civil 
                society, to develop and implement national education 
                plans that measurably improve basic education;
                    (C) to identify and replicate successful 
                interventions that improve access to and quality of 
                basic education in conflict settings and in partner 
                countries;
                    (D) to project general levels of resources needed 
                to achieve stated program objectives;
                    (E) to develop means to track implementation in 
                partner countries and ensure that such countries are 
                expending appropriate domestic resources and 
                instituting any relevant legal, regulatory, or 
                institutional reforms needed to achieve stated program 
                objectives;
                    (F) to leverage United States capabilities, 
                including through technical assistance, training, and 
                research; and
                    (G) to improve coordination and reduce duplication 
                among relevant Executive branch agencies and officials, 
                other donors, multilateral institutions, 
                nongovernmental organizations, and governments in 
                partner countries.

SEC. 5. IMPROVING COORDINATION AND OVERSIGHT.

    (a) Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic 
Education Assistance.--There is established within the United States 
Agency for International Development a Senior Coordinator of United 
States International Basic Education Assistance (referred to in this 
section as the ``Senior Coordinator''). The Senior Coordinator shall be 
appointed by the President, shall be a current USAID employee serving 
in a career or noncareer position in the Senior Executive Service or at 
the level of a Deputy Assistant Administrator or higher, and shall 
serve concurrently as the Senior Coordinator.
    (b) Duties.--
            (1) In general.--The Senior Coordinator shall have primary 
        responsibility for the oversight and coordination of all 
        resources and activities of the United States Government 
        relating to the promotion of international basic education 
        programs and activities.
            (2) Specific duties.--The Senior Coordinator shall--
                    (A) facilitate program and policy coordination of 
                international basic education programs and activities 
                among relevant Executive branch agencies and officials, 
                partner governments, multilateral institutions, the 
                private sector, and nongovernmental and civil society 
                organizations;
                    (B) develop and revise the strategy required under 
                section 4;
                    (C) monitor, evaluate, and report on activities 
                undertaken pursuant to the strategy required under 
                section 4; and
                    (D) establish due diligence criteria for all 
                recipients of funds provided by the United States to 
                carry out activities under this Act and the amendments 
                made by this Act.
    (c) Offset.--In order to eliminate duplication of effort and 
activities and to offset any costs incurred by the United States Agency 
for International Development in appointing the Senior Coordinator 
under subsection (a), the President shall, after consulting with 
appropriate congressional committees, eliminate a position within the 
United States Agency for International Development (unless otherwise 
authorized or required by law) that the President determines to be 
necessary to fully offset such costs and eliminate duplication.

SEC. 6. MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF PROGRAMS.

    The President shall seek to ensure that programs carried out under 
the strategy required under section 4 shall--
            (1) apply rigorous monitoring and evaluation methodologies 
        to determine if programs and activities provided under this 
        subsection accomplish measurable improvements in literacy, 
        numeracy, or other basic skills development that prepare an 
        individual to be an active, productive member of society and 
        the workforce;
            (2) include methodological guidance in the implementation 
        plan and support systemic data collection using internationally 
        comparable indicators, norms, and methodologies, to the extent 
        practicable and appropriate;
            (3) disaggregate all data collected and reported by age, 
        gender, marital status, disability, and location, to the extent 
        practicable and appropriate;
            (4) include funding for both short- and long-term 
        monitoring and evaluation to enable assessment of the 
        sustainability and scalability of assistance programs; and
            (5) support the increased use and public availability of 
        education data for improved decision making, program 
        effectiveness, and monitoring of global progress.

SEC. 7. TRANSPARENCY AND REPORTING TO CONGRESS.

    (a) Annual Report on the Implementation of Strategy.--Not later 
than each March 31 immediately following a fiscal year during which the 
strategy developed pursuant to section 4(a) was carried out, the 
President shall-- Not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal 
year during which the strategy developed pursuant to section 4(a) is 
carried out, the President shall--
            (1) submit a report to the appropriate congressional 
        committees that describes the implementation of such strategy; 
        and
            (2) make the report described in paragraph (1) available to 
        the public.
    (b) Matters To Be Included.--The report required under subsection 
(a) shall include--
            (1) a description of the efforts made by relevant Executive 
        branch agencies and officials to implement the strategy 
        developed pursuant to section 4, with a particular focus on the 
        activities carried out under the strategy;
            (2) a description of the extent to which each partner 
        country selected to receive assistance for basic education 
        meets the priority criteria specified in section 105(c) of the 
        Foreign Assistance Act, as added by section 3; and
            (3) a description of the progress achieved over the 
        reporting period toward meeting the goals, objectives, 
        benchmarks, and timeframes specified in the strategy developed 
        pursuant to section 4 at the program level, as developed 
        pursuant to monitoring and evaluation specified in section 6, 
        with particular emphasis on whether there are demonstrable 
        student improvements in literacy, numeracy, or other basic 
        skills development that prepare an individual to be an active, 
        productive member of society and the workforce.
                                                       Calendar No. 116

115th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 601

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

  To enhance the transparency and accelerate the impact of assistance 
 provided under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to promote quality 
    basic education in developing countries, to better enable such 
 countries to achieve universal access to quality basic education and 
improved learning outcomes, to eliminate duplication and waste, and for 
                            other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                              June 5, 2017

                        Reported with amendments