The House of Representatives wasted no time establishing their position on education: On Tuesday, the READ Act (H.R.601) was passed. The Senate now holds the key to making education available to the 263 million children globally who aren’t currently enrolled in school.

Growing up in a middle-class nuclear American family, my education was never in jeopardy. My parents provided me with every opportunity I wanted (and a few I didn’t – here’s to piano lessons, mom).

I was constantly engaged, commonly challenged, sometimes frustrated, but always aware how fortunate I was to have been given the chance to attend school in the United States, and then subsequently graduate from the University of Iowa. It is easy to take basic education for granted in the United States, but children around the world are not guaranteed even literacy, much less schooling.

The READ Act (formally Education for All Act) promotes personal well-being and enrichment, in addition to education as a foundation for economic growth. The long-term benefits of the READ Act would ripple out, and benefit the United States financially by granting these countries independence, which ultimately is the goal.

I’m asking both U.S. Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Jodi Ernst to represent Iowans commitment to global education, and co-sponsor the READ Act.

Lauren Jerew

Iowa City

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