To the Editor:
I commend Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for the “all in for the win” vaccine lottery which will award $7 million in cash prizes for adults 18 years of age and older, as well as $3 million in scholarship awards for Illinoisans ages 12 to 17. (Vaccinated Illinoisans automatically entered into the $10 million lottery, June 17, 2021).
Vaccination is helping reopen schools and minimize education disruption. However millions across the globe don't have access to vaccines and education. An estimated 1.5 billion children (80% of the world’s school-age children) have experienced disruptions in their education due to COVID-19.
Urgent action is needed now to ensure the COVID-19 education crisis does not turn into a permanent catastrophe for an entire generation. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has a plan to help combat this crucial issue. As the only international fund of its kind, the GPE marshals global resources for national education plans in lower-income countries. Now, GPE and its partners have a five-year plan to support learning for millions of children in lower-income countries, helping build back better from the pandemic.
I urge President Biden's administration and our Members of Congress to make a bold pledge of at least $200 million for each of the next five years. The U.S. can and must lead this effort and work hand-in-hand with the global community to ensure every child can reach their potential.