This is an archived article that was published on in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While many Utah children enjoy spring break, keep in mind that approximately 57 million children worldwide are literally dying for the chance to attend school.

A few years ago, the Taliban boarded a bus and shot a 15-year-old girl in the head to terrorize young women and keep them from getting an education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Because what they fear most is an educated woman. In South Sudan, girls are more likely to die in childbirth than finish the eighth grade.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) can change that, but only if Congress steps up to fund it with $250 million over the next two years. This would not add a dime to the deficit. The money is already pledged to foreign aid.

Studies have shown the GPE's effectiveness. Why? Because only countries with proven programs they have developed themselves receive GPE funding.

Higher education levels mean more economic opportunity, more markets to sell U.S. goods, and fewer opportunities to recruit would-be terrorists. Funding the GPE at $250 million over the next two years makes economic sense, improves our national security and is simply the right thing to do.

David Billings

Salt Lake City