Pret-a-Reporter

The White House Denies That It's Ending Michelle Obama's Girls' Education Program

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Michelle Obama

The "Let Girls Learn" program is causing a stir in D.C.

While speaking in Florida last week — her first public appearance since leaving the White House in January — Michelle Obama reaffirmed that though she herself would not be running for office anytime soon, she would continue her work for girls' education that she started during her time as first lady.

But now there's a new bump in the road. On Monday, the Trump administration announced that the "Let Girls Learn" education program Obama founded in 2015 would no longer continue in its current form. According to CNN, which first reported the news, specific aspects of the program would continue, but as a whole, "Let Girls Learn" was coming to an end. 

"Moving forward, we will not continue to use the 'Let Girls Learn' brand or maintain a stand-alone program," read an email from the Peace Corps' acting director Sheila Crowley sent to Peace Corps employees. "We are so proud of what 'Let Girls Learn' accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success."

On Monday evening, however, the Department of the State tweeted that the program was not, in fact ending. "There have been no changes to the #LetGirlsLearn program," reads a tweet from @StateDept. "We are committed to empowering women and girls around the world." 

They added that the White House "supports policies & programs to empower and educate adolescent girls."

"Let Girls Learn" is an inter-governmental program with contributions from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), as well as the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), that aimed to help adolescent girls overcome the obstacles to education in places of conflict and crisis worldwide.

Obama was heavily invested in promoting the program, and even starred in the CNN Film We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World, a documentary which followed the former first lady to Liberia and Morocco along with celebrities like Freida Pinto and Meryl Streep.

9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May. 2: Updated with the State Department's tweet.

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