• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Senate Votes Against School Choice

    Last night, the Senate considered an amendment by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The amendment failed 42 – 55. The bi-partisan amendment, which was cosponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Robert Byrd (D-WV), and George Voinovich (R-OH), would have allowed new students to enroll in the scholarship program and would have ensured current students are able to remain in the existing private schools. The Washington Post writes today:

    Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced an amendment to a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration that would have extended the voucher program for five years and funded it at $20 million a year, opening it to new students. The Senate killed Lieberman’s attempt to amend a different bill earlier this month.

    ‘Many teachers in our nation’s capital . . . are just not providing an adequate education to their students,’ Lieberman said. ‘We’re giving these children the ability to save their own lives.’

    More than 1,700 students participated in the 2008-09 school year. That number dropped to 1,319 this year because applications were closed to new students in the spring, and some students have graduated or left the program…

    ‘Already, D.C. parents have a choice,’ said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who spoke on the Senate floor against the program. ‘We have over 60 charters in the District of Columbia, and they’re growing all the time.’

    While charters are in fact serving many children, the scholarships are specifically meeting the needs of those students enrolled in the program – and have been successful in raising academic achievement.

    In the video above, watch Sen. Lieberman explain how a federally-mandated evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program found children to be improving academically.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Senate Votes Against School Choice

    1. Jeremy D, Austin Tex says:

      Further evidence that the Senate (and naturally the House) view themselves as beholden to Unions, and not their constituents. 90% of them need to lose their jobs this November and be replaced with citizen leaders who will limit themselves to no more than 4 terms in the House, 2 in the Senate.

    2. Billie says:

      It is also obvious the senate exploits children while the senate's main focus is on government meaningless unions. The education of America's youth is not the focus. Another obvious message, the federal government isn't looking to improve the standards. The goal is to eliminate personal student achievement. Indoctrinate all at the same level. Part of the destruction of America.

    3. Pingback: NY Giants Brandon London on Accomplishing Your Goals | Ticket Tips and News

    4. Robert Magill says:

      If the government were to allow kids to choose where to go to school, this government in particular would lose hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of poorly educated future voters and dependents. I guess that makes perfect sense to a progressive.

    5. Normca says:

      All of the bluster about the children in the inner cities being disadvantaged. Once again the unions own the white house and the congress. With all of the talk and its worth the talk about health insurance, another crime is the failing education system in this country. And its the unions again that are plugging up the system. And the money they take from their members to give to their scribes in the senate and house. Just who runs this country ?

    6. Gene ,Las vegas says:

      This is exactly how the Nazi's and the Communists got started. Pretty soon you'll start seeing Government run charter schools.

    7. Jamie Jones-Newman, Summerfield, Fl. says:

      I am a teacher, and by biblical law, I translate that I am held to a higher standard in this world. On this issue, my 1st regard is to the children (the future of OUR USURPED Republic) We must All join together and Voice our concern, and be vigulent Child Advocates. I called the WH last week about this very policy. I told the Sec. that taking away choice vouchers to the “P O O R” children starting in D.C., is condemning the “P O O R” children (and OUR future world) to despotism, with No opportunity to become a productive member of society, let alone a possible GOOD democratic voter. Besides being hypocrites, these progressives are insulting my intelligence with their lies. I thought their goal was to help the “P O O R” ??? I taught 7th gr. READING for 3 mos. in Public Gov. Schools, and I know first- hand about these communist infiltrated teacher’s unions, and the (400) 7th gr.middle-school students that CANNOT READ! Un-believable child cruelty and neglect of OUR future! Remember History…does the “Dark Ages” ring any bells? You better bet I am MAD. Get involved- Help A child to read!

    8. Pingback: Floor choices for wood storage sheds :MyWoodStorageSheds.com

    9. Pingback: Morning Bell: Choice for the Powerful, But Not for the People | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    10. Pingback: Liberals Deny Opportunity to Schoolchildren | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    11. Pingback: Floor choices for wood storage sheds

    12. aspergus says:

      We need to abolish the dept. of education–

      Do the american people not see the harm it is doing to are

      children education?

    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.