America’s $4.8bn overseas education investment ‘fraudulent’ and ‘a waste of money’
Posted October 06, 2019 14:59:24The US government’s overseas education program, which was designed to help Americans save money and improve their lives overseas, is a fraud, according to the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Key points:Mr James Clapper said the program was a “fraud” for which Congress needs to address”Mr Clapper told the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee that the program has not delivered the expected benefits”He said the US needs to focus more on overseas education opportunities rather than its own overseas education programsThe US Department of Education has confirmed that it has not completed the program, and has been asked to provide a copy of its contract with the government to the committee.
The committee heard that since it began operating in 2012, the program had delivered $4 billion to the US economy.
But Mr Clapper told members of the committee on Tuesday that the $4bn is “a fraud”.
“This is a fraudulent program, it’s a fraud on the American taxpayer,” he said.
The US is the second largest exporter of overseas education in the world, with more than $2.7 billion in investments annually.
The program was supposed to be able to support an estimated 70,000 foreign students a year.
However, it has yet to produce any results.
In 2018, the US Education Department estimated that only about 10 per cent of the $9 billion it invested in overseas education actually went to foreign students.
“I don’t think that the department has a good track record on these programs,” Mr Clapper said.
“It’s time for Congress to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on these overseas education projects.”
He added that the government should be more focused on overseas development and training programmes.
The Committee was also given a copy for the Education Department of the contract it signed with the US Government on December 1, 2018.
“In 2018 we signed a contract with a foreign government that has an investment of $5 billion,” the Department of Defense told the committee in response to Mr Clapper’s testimony.
“The agreement was for two years, and there was a $1.5 billion loan for that program.
The loan was paid back in 2027.
The US government also provided a $600 million loan to the country of Thailand for a $400 million program.”
Mr Clapper said that the US was investing more than the cost of the program and that it was a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“We’re going to be spending $4,000 a person on overseas educational opportunities in 2018,” he told the House committee.
“So we should not be spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on overseas programs.”
Instead, we should be spending our money on the very things that the American people are demanding that we do to improve our own educational systems.