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THE AMERICAN SCHOOLS ABROAD SUPPORT ACT; REAUTHORIZING THE TROPICAL FOREST CONSERVATION ACT OF 1998; THE VIET NAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT OF 2003; AMENDING THE MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE ACT OF 2003; AND VARIOUS RESOLUTIONS AND CONCURRENT RESOLU. TIONS

THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2004

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,

Washington, DC. The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:58 a.m. in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry J. Hyde presiding.

Chairman HYDE. The Committee will come to order. Due to the extensive bipartisan and noncontroversial nature of the items for consideration on today's agenda, it is my intention to expedite their consideration by dealing with them through two en bloc, unanimous consent requests.

First, I will ask unanimous consent to order two bills ordered reported favorably to the House with any amendments which the Members have before them deemed adopted.

Second, I will, by unanimous consent, ask the Committee to authorize me to seek consideration of the rest of the bills on the agenda in the House under suspension of the rules with any amendments which the Members have before them deemed adopted. All Members will be permitted to insert statements into the record on any of the bills or resolutions considered today.

Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee order favorably reported the following bills: H.R. 4303, The American Schools Abroad Support Act, as amended, and H.R. 4654, To reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 through Fiscal Year 2007. Is there any discussion?

[H.R. 4303, amendment to H.R. 4303 and H.R. 4654 follow:)

(1)

I

108TH CONGRESS

2D SESSION

H. R. 4303

To authorize the Secretary of State to make grants to American-sponsored

schools in Arab and other predominantly Muslim countries to provide full or partial merit-based scholarships for children from lower- and middle-income families of such countries to attend such schools, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 6, 2004 Mr. BERMAN (for himself and Mr. KNOLLENBERG) introduced the following

bill; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

A BILL To authorize the Secretary of State to make grants to Amer

ican-sponsored schools in Arab and other predominantly Muslim countries to provide full or partial merit-based scholarships for children from lower- and middle-income families of such countries to attend such schools, and for other purposes.

1

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

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This Act may be cited as the “American Schools

5 Abroad Support Act”.

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(1) During the 2003–2004 school year, the Of

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(2) These “American-sponsored” schools serve 99,318 students, of whom 27,412 are United States

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citizens.

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(3) Twenty

Twenty of these American-sponsored

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schools-serving 10,907 students are located in the

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Near East and South Asia region, and other Amer

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(4) American-sponsored schools provide an American-style education in English, with curricula

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that typically include an emphasis on the development of critical thinking and analytical skills.

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(5) In response to growing anti-American senti

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ment in Arab and other predominantly Muslim coun

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tries, the United States has placed a renewed emphasis on public diplomacy programs, with education

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at the elementary, secondary, and university levels representing an important part of that effort.

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(6) Education is a key element of the efforts of

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the United States to promote political, economic,

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and social reform in Arab and predominantly Mus

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lim countries, and is one of the main components of

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the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

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(7) As active, vibrant institutions, American

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sponsored schools play a vital role in their local com

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only, on average, to between one and two percent of

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their annual operating expenses.

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(9) The United States has an interest in in

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who may thereby gain at any early age an ap

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(10) The United States has an interest in in

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creasing the number of students in Arab and pre

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dominately Muslim countries who attend American

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sponsored schools beyond those from affluent fami

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lies who are able to afford the cost of tuition, to in

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clude children from lower- and middle-income fami

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lies who otherwise might not be able to afford to at

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(11) Many American-sponsored schools have the

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capacity to increase the number of students who at

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tend such schools.

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(12) The Department of State has legal author

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ity under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Ex

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change Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.) (com

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monly referred to as the Fulbright-Hays Act) to provide increased financial support for American-spon

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It is the sense of Congress that, based on the findings

18 contained in section 2, additional funds should be made

19 available to American-sponsored schools in Arab and pre

20 dominately Muslim countries to provide full or partial

21 merit-based scholarships to children from lower- and mid

22 dle-income families of such countries to attend such

23 schools.

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