Comment Last Three
May 06, 2009
Today, President Obama said that he will seek to extend the controversial D.C. school voucher program until all 1,716 participants have graduated from high school, although no new students will be accepted, according to an administration official who has reviewed budget details scheduled for release tomorrow.
Wow!!! He wants to send his kids to a private school, but he does not want other black and minority kids to receive the benefit of a private education. He wants the kids in DC to attend a poorly run public education system. His decision is not about helping the kids in the DC Public School System, but about protecting the unions and trashing the voucher program.
Why is this program called the Opportunity Scholarship Program? Maybe it should be called the Education Termination Program. All of the parents in DC should know that it is the Democratic led Congress and its union allies who have killed this program.
The budget documents, which expand on the fiscal 2010 blueprint that Congress approved last month by outlining Obama's priorities in detail, would provide $12.2 million for the Opportunity Scholarship Program for the 2009-2010 school year. The new language also would revise current law that makes further funding for existing students contingent on Congress's reauthorization of the program beyond its current June 2010 expiration date. Under the Obama proposal, further congressional action would not be necessary, and current students would automatically receive grants until they finish school.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan had told reporters that it didn't make sense "to take kids out of a school where they're happy and safe and satisfied and learning," but Democrats effectively terminated the program by requiring its reauthorization. Obama must now convince Democratic lawmakers to endorse a gradual phase out by continuing to include grant funding in future appropriation bills.
The voucher program was created in 2003 and is a Republican favorite, providing low-income students with a maximum $7,500 grant to attend a private or parochial school. All students come from households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line, and 8,000 students entered a lottery to participate. But liberal education groups, including the National Education Association, have argued that the experimental program is poorly administered and that voucher recipients have not performed measurably better in their new schools.
In a March 6, 2009 letter to Obama, the NEA president Dennis Van Roekel called the D.C. program "an ongoing threat to public education in the District of Columbia" and urged Obama to "use your voice to help eliminate this threat" by opposing "any efforts to extend this ineffective program."
Why is a voucher program that works a "threat" to the DC school system? Does it challenge the parents and students to seek a better educational program? Does it show the ineffective public school system for what it is? Where is Reverend Al or Jesse when the issue deals with reverse discrimination by the Democrat Party?