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  • Education Department: Tough Luck, D.C. Parents

    Put yourself in the shoes of LaTasha Bennett. A single mother living in Washington, D.C., Ms. Bennett is able to send her child to a private school thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Hoping to enroll her daughter in the same private school, Ms. Bennett applied for and recently received a voucher from the Washington Scholarship Fund.

    But last week, Ms. Bennett and hundreds of other D.C. parents received a form letter from the U.S. Department of Education informing them that their children wouldn’t be receiving a scholarship. The Fordham Institute has posted the letter. Here’s the opening paragraph:

    We deeply regret the confusion over whether your child would receive a scholarship through the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. Please know and understand that we deeply sympathize with the uncertainty that you and your family may have faced over the past few months, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that your child is in a safe school environment that offers strengthened academic programs.

    If the Department of Education was truly “committed to doing everything possible,” to ensure that parents like Ms. Bennett could enroll their children in a safe school environment, Secretary Duncan should: 1) reverse the Department’s decision and allow the Washington Scholarship Fund to release the funds that Congress has already appropriated to award all of the available scholarships for 2009-10, and 2) walk up Capitol Hill and ask Speaker Pelosi, Delegate Norton, and Senator Durbin to support the scholarship program’s reauthorization and expansion.

    Unfortunately, instead of doing “everything possible” to help these families, Secretary Duncan and the Department instead seem ready to do the dirty work for Congressional liberals who are intent on denying families the power to choose the best school for their children, as the Washington Post explained in a scathing editorial: “Congressional Democrats who receive ample campaign contributions from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers laid the trap with budget language that placed the program on the block. And now comes Mr. Duncan with the sword.”

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Education Department: Tough Luck, D.C. Parents

    1. Cara, Ohio says:

      It is heartbreaking when students who strive to be the best they can be lose out to the political abyss of our state and federal governments. Those students who merit scholarships and are potential future leaders of our nation are surpressed by red tape and political correctness.

      Here in Ohio, our own education system now offers vouchers not on a "merit" based system, but on a address system. If your child lives within the limits of a school in "academic emergency", then you are eligible to receive a voucher, regardless of merit or income. As a result, those districts have reallocated those students throughout their system to avoid losing these students (and potential $) and now bus children all over the city. Those districts deemed emergency zones also include the exclusive areas of town and so the children of surgeons and local corporations owners may now send their children to school at no charge.

      We have pulled our own children out of the Christian school they have been attending not only due to the economy (we do not qualify for aid though they are all A students) but because of increased violence and low test scores that have come with the school now being 1/3 voucher students. Thefts, fights, and even a knife being pulled on a 4th grade student (by another 4th grade student). Did I mention this is a Christian school?

      Just like college scholarships, these vouchers should be given to those who need help becoming what they can be, but only to those kids who merit that gift because of hard work and upstanding moral behavior, rural or inner city.

    2. Trey, Texas says:

      Everyone needs to vote FOR the FAIRTax right now: http://www.freedomworks.org/scrapthecode/vote.php

    3. mark elder, texarkan says:

      Our educators are demons when they take this approach a great example of how they do not have the best interest of the kids at heart on Friday they have a day of silence and doing nothing in order to promote sensitivity to homosexualty. And the Anti homo advocates are saying keep your children hom Friday in protest. We have got to take this nation back one way or the other the wrath of a tyrant is one thing but the wrath of God is much worse….

    4. Robert T. Davis Aust says:

      competition is what schools need and that means vouchers for sure. It is a disgrace how liberal democrats shaft poor parents by bowing to the monopoly education unions. Selling kids down the river for their personal political gain is so disgusting it should make every parent never vote for one of them.

    5. Harold TN says:

      My wife and I as a former teachers, and disgusted with the tactics of the Teachers Unions, see this a just another attempt by the radical left to gain control over the people of this nation. Many of our nations public schools are a disgrace. They are more intent on dealing with the far left liberal social agenda, than real education. Our schools have become left wing endoctrination centers. Some of our brightest young minds are not getting the educational tools they need to equip them for adult lives. Not only are the public schools failing, the real problems start in all the liberal Colleges and Universities that are turning out teachers that have been endoctrinated in this left wing social engineering. Private and religous schools, do a much better job of educating our young people, at far less cost. Test scores clearly show this. Now the public education system/teachers unions run by left wing liberals, want to shut down the private schaools, because they are a THREAT to the very existance of the unions and the public education system. You cannot tell me that any of this bunch is interested in education, ONLY THEIR OWN SELFISH INTERESTS.

    6. John Clancy, Wyandot says:

      The Duncan-Polosi-Obama moves on the parents and children of Washington,D.C. make it ultra clear what they hope for in educating our children, esp., minority children. They, along with the national teachers unions, demonstrate arogance again and again, enough for parents to rise up in protest. These moves portent the kind that will be made in other areas of socialism: the elites in the system will be separated from the masses–in the health system, in the economic system, etc. Socialism pretends to be fair while it destroys what is best for the people, like the program for minority children in Wash. D.C.

    7. Bill P says:

      What do the lives of 200 inner city children mean to this administration compared to the TEACHER'S UNION?? Follow the money trail!!! This absolutely disgraceful, especially from those that had benefit of a PRIVATE EDUCATION!!!!

      I am so sorry for these families that are looking for a better way for their children!!! I am so sorry for those families that will never be able to use this tool to improve the lives of thier children and the generations behind them!!!

      Education is a cultural benefit that when done well becomes part of a family heritage!!!!

    8. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      First, we need to do as Regan did with the Air Flight Controllers, REMOVE THE UNION! Children are just as fragile as any passengers aboard an airline, perhaps more so. Children trust their 'Teachers' to tell them the whole truth on all subjects and to remain free of political agendas. What the kids get are half truths, at best, and treated as herd animals for some future Socialistit Idealism.

      America spent forty Trillion in forty years on "special education grants,etc." for Afican-Americans. The results? Check the statistics. In half the time and twice the monies, America has done the same for "Illegal Aliens" for education, etc. The results? Check the statistics.

      History in this Nation has shown that those who are granted 'Special Favors' grow to expect them as 'Rights'.

      If America is to give Grants for Higher Education, then it needs to be done on the basis of "Benefit for Comunnity and Country" and not based on Race, Nationality, Religion, Poverty Level, , nor Regionality.

      Educators should never again be allowed to become 'Organized', as the experment has demonstrated total failure, and created a socialized weakness group of peoples who expect everything, for nothing.

      Hozro

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