• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • House Leaders Vote to End D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

    It’s turning out to be a lousy Christmas for D.C. children. Late last night, the House dealt a hefty blow to the future of school choice in the District of Columbia. House leadership passed an omnibus appropriations bill which includes language to phase-out the successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships of up to $7,500 to low-income children to attend a private school of their choice. The omnibus prohibits any new students from receiving scholarships, phasing it out in the coming years. The omnibus now moves on to the Senate for consideration, and if passed, will effectively end the D.C. OSP – and the hopes of thousands of District children of receiving a better education.

    Despite President Obama’s pledge to support “what works” in education, he and Secretary Arne Duncan have stood idly by as the future of the Opportunity Scholarship Program grows dimmer and dimmer. Lawmakers know the OSP works, D.C. residents know the OSP works, and families know the OSP works. Yet weeks continue to tick by as low-income D.C. children wait to hear the support of their President for their continued educational success.

    Some members of Congress understand what’s at stake for District families. In a letter to Senator Richard Durbin and Representative José Serrano written on Monday, Minority Leader Boehner and Senator Joseph Lieberman others wrote:

    This program has the overwhelming support of D.C. residents, parents, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chancellor Michelle Rhee, former Mayor Anthony Williams, and the D.C. City Council….Five years after the first scholarship students walked into their new schools, we know that the program is helping them both academically and socially…Local D.C. officials and residents have been very clear – they want this program to continue…In fact, during his sworn testimony before the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, Mayor Fenty stated that he supports adding new students to maintain the current cap.

    As members contemplate the future of school choice this weekend, they should inform their decision by watching Let Me Rise: The Struggle to Save School Choice in the Nation’s Capital. Perhaps seeing the faces of the children and families so greatly impacted by the opportunity to receive a quality education will move them to support school choice in the District.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to House Leaders Vote to End D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      This government deprives the need of children! They've admitted watching and seeing people suffer (without the decency of lifting a finger), not too long ago. Hopefully, something of good will come through for the children!

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      The government is depriving the children, potential.

    3. Donald Weideman,Plan says:

      This is my new email address. I havelistened to Rush Limbaugh for years, cut was recently brought out of the darkness by Glenn Beck, and was consequently encouraged to join a 9-12 group (like the tea parties). Rush turned me unto you and here I am. Thank you. I am deeply concerned about this issue in particular. If this is signed by Obama, it will be a clear sign that he may be our black president, but he does not care about the black and poor people of our nation. I really need guidance on what to do and where to do it. Why are just hearing about this now? I will ask my representatives how they voted on this and why they let it happen without a LOUD cry to the nation. Thanks again, and looking forward to your guidance. Don Weideman

    4. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      That is a great picture of Pelosi IMHO. :) looks a bit like she will after the mid-term election results. But to the subject of school choice. You would think that success in something like education programs would want to be applauded and imitated, which would be good for everyone in this case. Sadly it seems bettween the liberals (who don't want a free market solution) and the teachers unions (who probably see this as an example of why competition is bad for them) will not want a program like this to continue to exist.

    5. Pingback: Headlines 12.13.2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    6. Jill Hetherington says:

      "How ya gonna keep em down on farm, after they've seen Paree?" This is all about "plantation politics" as I heard one conservative black woman call i on Glenn Beck.

    7. Hunter, Philly says:

      This program includes scholarsips to the Sidwell Friends School. There are many impoverished kids going there. Additionally politicians kids attend. Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton and Al GOre's son Went there. The Obama girls go there now with Joe Beiden's grandson.

      One of the President's first acts in office was to cut this scholarship after signing up his own children.

      Liberals, good for me but not for thee!

    8. redpens, PA says:

      That picture of Pelosi would make a great Halloween mask. But anyways, this proves once again the Democrats don't care

      about the American people. They care more about the corrupt unions protecting bad teachers than they care about America's children. One more example of why they'll go down

      to defeat in 2010.

    9. Slick - Nebraska says:

      This program is ending because there is NOTHING in it for the members of the House: no money, no hidden benefits, no support for re-election, not one single thing other than doing what is right for these young people to get a better education and have a chance to become productive members of our society. Therefore there is absolutely no incentive for these people to consider the consequences of ending this program without a single thought of what will happen to the children effected.

      Most of these people are NOT motivated to do the right thing; they are motivated by power, greed, a good paycheck, and a guaranteed better retirement than you or I will get. I dare say that the good Lord has a lot of work ahead of him when these guys get to the pearly gates . . . even hell is going to be too good for them!!!!

      Every single citizen in this country should be up in arms about what has been done to our country in the last year. We HAVE to make changes in personnel in Washington come November, 2010 or we will suffer consequences beyond imagination. Spread the word . . . November, 2010 is only eleven months away and we WILL make our voices heard!

    10. Tim Az says:

      What liberal in their right mind would allow the children to leave the plantation. These are future voters for liberals so long as they can keep enough of them on their plantation.

      Hoax and less change anyone?

    11. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      This shows that Obama doesn't even care about the poor children. How dare him not support this, and stand up for children that want a better education. They will have to go to unsafe schools, with little learning going on.Let's see if their parents will vote for the Dems in the next election. How's that change working out! We might as will have slaves again, Obama wants all of us to be on Welfare, his slaves!

      This administration makes me sick. They act like dictators already!DOWN WITH THE DICTATOR!

    12. Duane Phinney Pensa says:

      They also killed the voucher program that was working well.

      Whatever the unions want done the Democrats comply.

    13. philip says:

      Washington DC see ware the democrat party is takeing your children. They want to keep them under educated so that they have power over them with failed puplic schools. Wich theach to the lowest level and lack of desiplen. while you want the best for your child. the democrat party like polosi and democrats want the least for child and are going to take away your right to have a choice to chose a school of education quality remember the democrat leadership is not looking out for america or it's people

    14. MaryEllen, IL says:

      Shame, shame on these "liberal" politicians. It does not surprise me, however; look at the Chicago Public School system and you will see what be coming out of DC. BO and Arne did nothing here and will continue to do nothing there.

    15. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      I was lucky, my mother sent me to a catholic school,I sent my children to the same school until we moved to Fl., if I knew then at I know today I would have sent the three youngest to a catholic school there too, Public schools are not teaching American History, high schools are not teaching Civics, what I heard Andrew Wilkow read the other day made e sick to my stomach, it was from material being taught in Mass. schools, go to Wilkow Majority and find out what it is being taught to 14 YO's. I love history and impart my knowledge to my grandchildren, I also had a great teacher in HS who made us read and discuss the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. "We the People" are US, WE CAN STOP this nonsence, VOTE 2010 and 2012, return this country to a REPUBLIC.

    16. Pingback: Super-Size Edition: Loose Lips Daily - City Desk - Washington City Paper

    17. Sandy, CT says:

      They would have approved it if their children were affected, mark my words. Can't approve it rthough because then some lousy teachers in the Union would lose their jobs for doing a terrible job wouldn't they?

    18. Brian,cincinnati says:

      It could be worse,our parents could have been DIRTY HARRY & CRAZY NANCY!!!!

      They could'nt care less about childern,this admin. thinks there is too many children and other people on they're planet now as it is.

    19. Pingback: Cosmopolitan Conservative » Blog Archive » Thoughts from the Blind Side

    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.

    ×