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  • DC City Council Supports the Opportunity Scholarship Program

    Soon, critics of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program won’t have any arguments left. For years, opponents have argued that the scholarship program wasn’t working. But a recent federal evaluation found that scholarship students have made “statistically significant” improvement in reading compared to their peers who didn’t get scholarships. The report confirmed what parents have been saying for years: the program is improving students’ educational opportunities.

    Another common criticism is that Congress and the Bush administration somehow imposed this program on an unwilling District government. Of course, this ignores that former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams strongly supported the program when it was created. Now, a new letter signed by a majority of the D.C. City Council should erase any doubt about whether local leaders support the Opportunity Scholarship program.

    The letter, addressed to Secretary Duncan and Mayor Fenty, endorses the program and calls on the administration to reverse its decision to take scholarships away from the 216 children who were recently admitted to the program:

    We ask you to rescind your letter of April 6, 2009, addressed to those 216 families and that you honor your respective promise to them by allowing these children to enroll in the private schools of their choice in the fall of 2009. We believe we simply cannot turn our backs on these families because doing so will deny their children the quality education they deserve.

    Indeed, last month, at a rally in front of the Wilson Building, several thousand families urged us to keep their children’s futures in mind and to support the continuation of this popular school choice program. We strongly urge you to stand with us in supporting these children and continuing the District’s Opportunity Scholarship Program.

    The Washington Post has more in another terrific editorial.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to DC City Council Supports the Opportunity Scholarship Program

    1. Spiritof76 says:

      Republican Congressional leadership is missing a great opportunity to show case the hypocrisy and racism embedded in the Democratic Party. That is why, they (Republicans) fail to win over the minorities in significant numbers to their side.

    2. Therese Roth, Denver says:

      I have been communicating with Senator Michael Bennet about this issue since the amendment to discontinue the program was introduced into the Omnibus Bill by Senator Durbin.

      Senator Bennet was our Denver Public School Superintendent before he was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Ken Salazar. His response to me, "vouchers only benefit a select number of students; root problems in the larger school system remain unadressed". I pointed out that this program works! We have to start somewhere….that "select number of students" will not only enrich their own lives, but their peers, parents, community as well as keeping them from drugs and criminal activity.

      It tells me that the teachers unions are continuing to dictate the educational system in our country.

    3. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Vouchers are the only way to keep "Public Schools" out of the political areana, and back into the role of educators. Until such time, all children will far better benefit from true educators in the Private Schools than Teachers in the Public School Unions.


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