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  • As Congress Ends D.C. Voucher Program, Qatar Moves Toward Universal School Choice

    As regular readers of the Foundry know, Congress has recently moved to end the popular and effective D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, denying low-income families the chance to attend a school of their parents’ choice. Meanwhile, other countries are pushing forward with plans to give all parents school choice.

    In September, Heritage’s Stuart Butler looked at the Sweden’s popular universal school voucher that began in 1992. Now, Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute explains that Qatar, the small Persian Gulf nation, is planning to move forward with a universal school voucher program:

    Qatar’s voucher program, which is just being implemented this year, is part of the country’s comprehensive reform effort called “Education for a New Era.” The voucher amount will be equivalent to the per-pupil funding allotment for government-run schools. It is envisioned that this amount will pay for the majority of private-school fees, with parents paying the rest. Initially, the number of private schools will be limited, but over time that number should increase until the system is universal, with vouchers available to all Qatari parents.

    “Parents will have options to select a school of their choice that suits the needs of their children,” says Adel al-Sayed, a top-ranking official at the Supreme Education Council (SEC), Qatar’s national education agency. The voucher program was adopted because it meets the principles that the SEC says inform Qatar’s education policies: schools should be autonomous, schools should be held accountable for student learning, and parents should exercise increasing levels of choice in selecting the best school for their children from a growing number of alternatives.

    Parental options are a key element of internationally competitive education in the 21st century, as more countries are recognizing.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to As Congress Ends D.C. Voucher Program, Qatar Moves Toward Universal School Choice

    1. Todd, Albany Oregon says:

      "The voucher amount will be equivalent to the per-pupil funding allotment for government-run schools."

      Wow.

      At the Private Christian K-12 school my daughter attends, all parents are required to serve at least 30hr/yr or pay extra. If your student rides one of our (privately owned by the school) buses, its $750/yr extra (and even then you have to meet the bus at a consolodated drop-off location because the extra charge still doesn't afford getting your student within walking distance of your door like the public school buses do).

      This fall, I helped reassemble old, used-up bleachers gleaned from the local public school system at our football field. Even the stripes on the field are supplied by parent labor. The buildings are mostly cinder block because the campus is left over from a WWII training camp which the school purchased in a miraculous deal and has been slowly renovating and adding on to for three decades.

      If we could have vouchers equivalent to what we pay to run the public schools (which our children don't burden), my daughter's school (which repeatedly wins state awards for educational excellence) would have money coming out of it's ears. Then they could afford to do a superior job of teaching even more kids and the state could shut down and stop charging us taxes for some unneeded public infrastucture.

      Or, instead of giving my daughter's award-winning school the difference between the cost of her education there vs. in the public system, let her school stay lean and mean and just give ME back the difference. Then I'd have an extra couple/three thousand dollars left over every year to stimulate the economy as I think best instead of paying for shiney new bleachers and free bus rides.

      Common sense is the enemy of so much of our present system.

    2. Michigan Resident says:

      Great Article. Both my daughters went through private school. Best thing my husband and I did for our girls. My oldest has a masters in engineering working for the number corporation on the planet. Happy and doing well with her professional and personal life. My youngest is finishing her under grad degree going on for her masters also. Doing very well in her persuits also. No government runned politically correct dumbing the the masses school. We did not have vouchers, but, I think they are a great idea. Make the sacrifice for your children. You will never regret that decision. My jewels, vacations and luxuries went to cover my daughters tution costs. I would do it all again in a new york minute. I am glad I live in a country where I could do that for my children. It is not what you get in this life but what you give. I am afraid my government is trying to take that option away from me.

    3. Dulyn Redding CA says:

      Control of education is an absolute criterion of a tyrannical/socialistic government. It is necessary for indoctrination of its orthodoxy throughout the entire population. With the NEA, teachers union, and now Obama administration America is almost there.

    4. Scott Scarborough, C says:

      School choice period! The tax money paid is for the student not the government school system.

    5. Florida says:

      This should make us all to angry. These children need every opportunity. Now, to bow to the $$$ received by the Teachers' Union, these D.C. children have this educational opportunity ripped out from under them. Obama just practicing his learned from corrupt Illinois political sludge lessons. Yeah, Man, these D.C. folks have gotten a rude awakening about their "brother." Lame media should come down on him with both feet, but they won't. Poor, poor children. Vote the thugs out!

    6. John Clancy, Wyan.MI says:

      My wife is reading A BEAUTIFUL TREE. The author, Tooley, writes about African parents who refuse to use gov't schools and make great sacrifices, jusst short of starving, to send their children to private schools. They do this because organized teachers put money before quality for the children. The private schools–doing very well–know that they will lose money and go under if they do not truly serve the children and their "customers," the parents.

      Can we learn from these successes? Can we ever improve as look as we persist seeing monolithic gov't schools in our country, now being locked by an administration that trampled on the rights of D.C. parents?

    7. philip says:

      OBAMA SAYS HE IS FOR THE POOR SO HIS PLAN FOR THE POOR IS TAKE THEIR CHOISE OF BETTER SCHOOLS AWAY AND PUT THEM IN THE FAILING PUPLIC SCHOOLS SO HE CAN TRY TO DUMB THEM DOWN WOW HE IS REALY FOR THE POOR AND DISADVANGED HE TAKE S FROM POOR AND DISADVANGED AND GIVE TO HIS RICH COPARTS OBAMA YOU AND YOUR CROOKED BRIBE SENNNTORS STEAL FROM NEEDY AND GIVE TO GREEDY DEMOCRAT THAT ARE LIEING CHEATING REP. AND CONGRESS MEN YOUR MOTTO SHOULD BE WE STEAL FROM YHE NEEDY AND GIVE TO BARNY AND FRANKS

    8. Perry OK says:

      I went to both private and public. There was a noted difference in the years of private schooling. One of the often overlooked part of our system,is how well the parents deal with school. My wife and I have no children,yet we pay the taxes for what? Parents that set examples that I train my dogs not behave like that. Your answer is to isolate your children so only those that can afford better get better.

      Make a difference to more than just your own. We the people set the standards. So raise them! Demand that the system works for all children. Yes the unions have to quit protecting slackers and hold there own accountable. Yes we need to get parents involved (mandatory). Yes children need to be held accountable for their actions(spanking).

      Not everyone will be in agreement. But if I didn't care, I would just ask for my money back.

    9. curtis, texas says:

      I wonder why the media is quite about this subject? Do you think that the media only cares about this subject if a conservative were to act like this?

    10. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Our illustrious Leaders have fallen back to the pre-Fifteenth Century frame of thinking, "That it is far easier to enslave the minds of the uneducated than it is those of the educated."

    11. Jill Hetherington says:

      It's plantation politics. The Dems keep handing out stuff to keep the lower classes unslaved (on the plantation)and the lower classes still are fooled into thinking that party cares about their well being. Not true! They only care about being in power.

      Obama really scandered an historic election. Why did our first black president have to be so unworthy of this honor. If I were him I would think about how I will look in future history books. I would really work at doing something great not greedy. Something we could all be proud of.

    12. Pingback: School Choice Campaign » As Congress Ends D.C. Voucher Program, Qatar Moves Toward Universal School Choice

    13. Pingback: School Choice Campaign » As Congress Ends D.C. Voucher Program, Qatar Moves Toward Universal School Choice

    14. Latasha B. Wash., D.C. says:

      It”s a shame that “OUR CHILDREN, JUST DON’T MATTER”. Well I’m a Mother of 1 child blessed with a scholarship, and my other child had a scholarship snatched right back after being awarded to her along with 215 other families that believed in our New President, and a chance for a brighter future for our children. Politics is a cruel game. Their are still some Politicians who still cares, but far too few than the ones who DON’T. GO FIGURE! DO OUR CHILDREN EVEN MATTER? Obviously NOT!! I won’t ever stop my fight. I sincerely thank you for doing this story it means so much to know that you & your foundation are still truly people that still has HEARTS. GOD BLESS! A DEDICATED MOM THAT WILL NEVER LOSE MY FAITH!!!!

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