• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Holder Wants D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Ad Pulled from Television

    Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to wade into the D.C. school choice debate. While he probably only meant to get his toes wet, a request Holder made to former D.C. city councilman Kevin Chavous at a recent event to pull a television ad in support of the Opportunity Scholarship program has made a big splash. In an interview with the Weekly Standard, Chavous noted that he is friends with Holder and his wife, and didn’t see the comment as an official administration request. Nevertheless, Chavous told the Weekly Standard:

    I saw [Holder] at an event…He did ask me in front of others to pull the ad. My response was, ‘No, and I tell you what, if the President does the right thing, not only will we pull it but we will celebrate him’.

    The ad in question features Kevin Chavous and a young student who is one of 216 children who recently had their scholarships rescinded by the Department of Education. In the ad, Chavous discusses how President Obama is ending the scholarship program, which provides scholarships of up to $7,500 to low-income children in D.C. to attend a private school of their choice. The young student in the ad asks the President to voice his support for the scholarships.

    The Weekly Standard writes:

    The nation’s first black president has come under intense criticism for failing to support the program that is helping poor African-American students escape some of the nation’s most dangerous and worst-performing public schools. After embracing the teachers unions’ anti-voucher stance, the president now finds himself in the uncomfortable and awkward position of denying students access to a program that has strong bipartisan, local support, and that multiple studies say is helping poor African-American children succeed.

    Instead of trying to silence the school choice community in D.C., here’s a better use of Holder’s time: watch Let Me Rise: The Struggle to Save School Choice in the Nation’s Capitol. This compelling mini-documentary will help him understand why school choice in D.C. – and the educational future of 1,700 low-income children – is so critically important.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Holder Wants D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Ad Pulled from Television

    1. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Why in ___ is the U.S. Attorney General getting involved in this?

      On one hand, the POTUS says the Holder has free reign to investigate where he sees fit. CIA?

      On the other hand, it is obvious who he works for in this article.

      So, which is it? A political operative or an independent AG seeking out "justice" and ensuring the "scales are balanced evenly and the blindfold stays on"?

      Dear God, we are in trouble. (Can I say God?)

    2. Doug, Texas says:

      Most corrupt and self centered administration ever!

    3. Liberty4all, ID says:

      If there ever was a story that shows us who Obama is, I think that it is this one. I watched him openly proclaim that he would support whatever works in regards to helping in the educational plight of these young people. When it becomes evident that this program is delivering a better education for far less money it seems clear what the right thing to do is. Many children and their parents are thrilled to have Obama come out verbally “in favor of what is clearly working for them" while costing much less. This is his constituency…the people he should most be championing. To see that it was just lip service and that he is so beholden to a system that refuses to reform despite constantly demanding more money….I can see clearly who Obama is. These people who voted for him see who he is and I think they are ashamed. There is not excuse. As someone center right, I supported Obama’s energy that he seemed to have. He seemed to transcend politics. Not any more… He too seems like a normal politician since he

      1. Rewarded all his friends (including many unsavory ones) vs. doing things that actually building up the engine of our society to actually provide the means to help those less fortunate.

      2. Run up massive spending without a hope of much of an economic recovery in the near future.

      3. Failed those families in D.C. who were so inspired by who he could have been. He took from them something that he promised to do that could clearly be a baby step for government accountability and results.

      My personal feeling is that continuing this voucher program would do more to help the public education system in DC than anything else. It would have been doing them and the entire country a favor. They would have been better off in 5 years for sure than they will be now. You can’t continue to get worse for a decade while spending 5x more money for ever declining results without eventually hitting rock bottom. This just puts rock bottom a little lower for them.

    4. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      This was a 5 year pilot program that ended in 2008. As noted on their website

      Great spin sorry for those that fell for the plot.

    5. Pingback: DCPS Budget Gets Nickled: Loose Lips Daily - City Desk - Washington City Paper

    6. Patrick,North Caroli says:

      Because the program was a pilot is irrelevant. The Scholarship Fund worked, so it should be reinstated. Have you ever walked the streets of North East DC? When there is nothing but ruin and failure let's create some hope for these kids. They have a thirst to learn and become better people. Why limit there futures? Gosh, the first black president talks about changing the way politics is done in D.C.. What a shame, Obama can't even set politics aside in his own backyard. His kids go to private school why are these needy youngsters any less important than his daughters? 2010 is going to really hurt if you are an incumbent Democrat. I guess that is why they are in such a rush to get all their programs in place. Or in this case , back the teachers union and the heck with the kids. What a shame, I'll be voting against all politicians who back the mess in DC. bye bye dems…..

    7. Chris, Illinois says:


      You're right it was initially a 5 year pilot program. But in the very next paragraph it states it was extended another year(this year).

      In addition, consider what a "Pilot" program is in any endeavor. If the program administrators consider the results worthy, then a permanent solution is implemented.

      There is nothing sacred about ending the program in 2008.

      So it appears the only spin is in your comment.

    8. Robert L. Kantor, MD says:

      I don't understand why or how the adminstration gets involved in i.e. Boston Police problems, rap behavior, Olympics for Chicago and now something which defiles comprehension.

      Sponsoring education for the poor is the best thing to have since the depression and Eric Holder chose the wrong side. I don't know how the administration can justify this rediculous argument. Leave education to the educators. Holder's political pressure on a "friend" is poorly advised and not appreciated. We want the adminstration to address the job we elected them for, not to be "sidetracked" on issues they don't understand and don't belong.

    9. Pingback: Facing the Children, Ignoring Their Future: Obama and Education Reform « American Maggie | An Online Platform For Conservative Women

    10. Montgomery E Columbu says:

      Our POTUS made promises to EVERYONE during his campaign therefore he is beholden to EVERYONE. He is disingenuous as well as hypocritical concerning our children in that he pulled this program in the first few months of his presidency. What is more hypocritical is that he knows that the DC schools are inept therefore he sends his girls to an elite prep school. Education is the only way out for these kids and our commander and chief does not care—rather he cares more for the teacher unions and other special interest groups. I am an elementary school counselor in a DOD school and I am for school choice. Our president needs to have his feet held to the fire concerning this injustice!!!! Keep pressing for the DC kids!!

    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.