Communities

The Fate Of Michelle Obama’s Groundbreaking Education Program

by Leo Shvedsky

May 1, 2017

Helping young girls get an education sounds like possibly the least offensive goal imaginable. But that’s when the Trump administration comes in to remind us that the old saying, “Anything is possible” can go both ways.

That’s because the White House announced they are officially ending “Let Girls Learn,” a program launched by first lady Michelle Obama and President Obama to help adolescent girls in developing countries gain access to educational opportunities.

“Let Girls Learn had several years of funding already baked,” said Tina Tchen, Mrs. Obama’s former chief of staff, noting the group has recently received more than $5 million private sector funding before the Obamas left the White House. “We were hopeful that given that, it could continue. But obviously elections have consequences, and nobody knows that better than we.”

As CNN noted, the announcement came on the same day that Trump’s White House announced proposed changes to Mrs. Obama’s other signature initiative: improving the quality of school lunch programs across the nation.

The Let Girls Learn program, which was largely run by the Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development, is set to continue in a diminished capacity, but will no longer be a formal operation.

Michelle Obama has worked hard to promote the effort, using her last year in the White House to advocate for the issue across social media and during public appearances.

“We felt it was important to have a branded campaign that drew attention to those issues, and we found that when we did it, we had extraordinary support,” Tchen said. “I think it's unfortunate to not continue with the branded campaign. We think that this is an issue that has bipartisan support, it's really not a Republican or Democratic issue.”

 

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The Fate Of Michelle Obama’s Groundbreaking Education Program