The writer wants U.S. taxpayers to pay for education programs in other countries. I don’t.
The Keeping Girls in School Act is a bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate that would create a $35M foreign aid program “To keep girls in school around the world, and for other purposes.”
I can think of 100 reasons the proposal is a good and worthy one, but despite them all it fails a key test. Call it the “America First test.”
Helping girls in other countries stay in school sounds compelling in its own right. It is just the sort of investment in humanity which can produce diplomatic dividends. But educating foreign children, and only girls to boot, is far from a compelling national interest of ours. It doesn’t rank with concerns like military cooperation, or commercial trade as priorities commanding our attention. Not even close.
Other American interests on the world stage come first.
Also, the money the bill would spend would be better spent at home. It isn’t much, but surely $35M could help a lot of American girls stay in school, too. Or maybe help a few immigrant children receive better day care while in federal custody. Or fund housing for homeless families with children currently living in rat-infested squalor.
Other American interests within our own borders come first.
More cynically, the Keeping Girls in School Act looks a lot like pork-barrel spending intended to benefit a few crony-capitalist non-profits. America First would rule that out, as well.