• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Putting Parents Last in Education

    Congressional leaders recently proposed an unprecedented $142 billion spending increase for education—the largest in history—in the so-called “economic stimulus” package. That’s nearly double the annual budget of the Department of Education.

    But liberals on Capitol Hill included language in the legislation to make sure that not a dollar of that funding is used on school choice policies that give parents the power to pick the best school for their children. (Prohibiting school choice is just one of the reasons why the “economic stimulus” is a bad policy.)

    The Washington Post is now reporting that Congressional leaders are taking their first steps to kill the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. This $13 million program is currently helping more than 1,700 low-income children attend private schools in the District. But the Post reports: “Unusually restrictive language being drafted for the omnibus budget bill would forbid any new funding unless Congress reauthorizes the program and the District passes legislation in agreement.”

    This news comes weeks after a new report was released showing that the Opportunity Scholarship program has succeeded in boosting parental involvement and increasing participating families’ feelings of student safety. The Post reports that the survey found that: “over time… their satisfaction has deepened to include an appreciation for small class sizes, rich curricula and positive change in their sons and daughters. Above all, what parents most value is the freedom to choose where their children go to school.”

    Unfortunately, Congress is proving that what parents’ most value often doesn’t matter in the education debate.

    Research Assistant Lindsey Burke contributed to this post.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Putting Parents Last in Education

    1. Ozzy6900, CT (The Bl says:

      So, another example of how our elected officials do not listen or car what we think! The funny thing is that many Democrat parents want this choice also!

    2. Matthew, Kentucky says:

      The teacher's unions are tightening their stranglehold on the minds of our children, and parents unwittingly are allowing this to happen. It's just a matter of time before they criminalize those "wacky" home-schoolers. Dangerous days ahead when the state has so much control over the minds of our children. The relentless march of legal plunder continues.

    3. Barb -mn says:

      The more the government education can indoctrinate without the interference of parental upbringing the more the government will achieve it's goal.

      In this state they take the kids at 3 years old at taxpayers expense. It isn't mandatory yet, but it makes a great day care service at no cost for those that qualify based on anything but their income. Tax dollars also pay excruciating amounts towards higher education when this should be the choice and expense of the person pursuing their American dream. Those that are paying their own way are paying the way for the ones who pay NOTHING! That is why private health care is so expensive. Sure you can have your own, until government intentionally makes it so you can't. Then guess where you'll get your insurance? Universal health care.

    4. Andrew, Chicago says:

      The Obamas should not be the only family living in public housing that can afford to send their children to a private school.

    5. DJphoenix says:

      Obama selected a Secretary of Education who has a strong committment to and experience in implementing charter schools — a viable form of school choice — one that prevented school vouchers from being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Why hasn't any of you bloggers acknowledged this?

      I think that a major tactical error made by voucher advocates was and is their decision not to support charters. This left them weaker; they have not made a good sale of the value of vouchers as an alteratitve to public schools to enough people to sustain the program. Had Choice advocates partnered with charter developers and advocates when they were reaching out to them, vouchers would be part of a larger and more acceptable bloc and both charters and voucher programs would be stronger. Now we are witnessesing voucher program numbers slowly decline as the public focuses away to daily survival matters.

    6. Mary from California says:

      Someone needs to inform Congress that it is well- educated teachers, not money, that produce results in schools. If money were the answer to our educational problems, then private schools would not be surpassing public schools in quality and lack of attrition Private schools spend less than half the amount of money spent by the public sector with far greater results. I know because I have taught in both.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.