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  • Bipartisan Group of Senators Support the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

    Amid the partisan bickering and procedural conundrums of the health care bill last week, a small group of senators from both sides of the aisle found common ground in advocating for school choice in the District of Columbia.

    An amendment to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for the next five years was brought to the floor Tuesday evening by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and a bipartisan coalition of cosponsors including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Robert Byrd (D-WV), and George Voinovich (R-OH). Although the Senate voted 42-55 to strike down the amendment, Senators Lieberman, Feinstein, and Voinovich passionately defended the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

    Senator Lieberman particularly noted the scholarship’s importance to the many students and families currently enrolled in the program and illustrated the necessity of continuing to provide disadvantaged children the opportunity to escape failing public schools.

    Senator Feinstein also expressed support for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship by highlighting the experiences of a few students who are benefiting from the program in their academic and personal lives. Many of the low-income students enrolled in the program through high school now attend colleges throughout the country.

    Senator Voinovich outlined the political and financial struggles the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship has faced, specifically within the FY 2011 budget, and noted the paucity of reasonable objections to reauthorizing the program.

    The amendment would have allowed currently enrolled students to remain at their choice of private or parochial schools and afforded thousands of other eligible children the same opportunity of school choice. If programs like the Opportunity Scholarships are to continue providing low-income children a chance at a safe and effective school, Americans need to stand up for educational choice for families in the District and around the country.

    Sarah Torre currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Bipartisan Group of Senators Support the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

    1. Frank, Palm Bay FL says:

      I am not as pessimistic about bipartisanship as this article would lead me to be, but I appreciate an opportunity for both ideas to be discussed, however us republicans and conservatives have to rethink our strategy when it comes to health care. An article I read spoke about American history and why the health bill is more constitutional than we think. I can say as an avid conservative republican, I was forced to challenge my views, take a look, challenge yours too:


      I changed my mind

    2. Steve K - MD says:

      Just nice to see Members of all parties working together on something – regardless of what issue it is.

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    4. Carol Bee, Salt Lake says:

      The fact that President Obama and his Secretary of Education have cut the funding for this life saving program shows how little they really care about the citizens, and especially the poor and downtrodden. They only pretend to care when it will get them some votes. The president has asked for billions to "help" schools, but yet will not continue this fantastically successful program that has helped students tremendously. Perfect example of their hypocrisy.

    5. Normca says:

      America's schools are an assault on young people and most certainly those of less fortunate households. The unions own Obama, so he protects the teachers union at any cost. [Cadillac Health Plan exemption till 2018] The union bought his office and he hope the unions repeats in 2011 and beyond. Lieberman has always cared about children. Voinavich though has done nothing but cry on the senate floor at the Bolton appointment vote, but he has chosen to leave the senate and would receive no lash back from this co sponsorship. Being from California, I have to wonder what Di Fi is looking for ?.

    6. Norma from Nebraska says:

      My question is: Why in the world do we have so many schools "FAILING" to educate our young people to the point where we have to issue vouchers so they can afford to go to an adequate school and get a satisfactory education. I am not against the voucher program . . . I just want to know WHY we need it.

      As taxpayers we see HUGE budget items for education every single year, and yet this problem gets worse and worse!!! So maybe the Department of Education is NOT doing its job! Every year there are more and more rules to accompany more and more taxes, and what do we get? Just another rat hole for money to disappear into.

      I don't know about anyone else, but I can't think of one single reason why I should keep paying my taxes. The government does NOT listen to what we, the citizens want, and so it looks to me like the only way to get their attention is to STOP the money flowing into Washington. What are they going to do? Hire 2 million IRS agents to come after all of us? Well, I guess that would be one way to give more jobless Americans a paycheck.

    7. Spiritof76, NH says:

      We are constantly being told to stand up for America, freedom and as its natural extension DC choice education program.

      I have been doing this over three years not only on this issue but all others, the most recent being the health care bill scam.

      None of it has worked. None of it will work. When you are dealing with an entity or a government that is built on tyranny, your pleadings will have no impact. Teachers union matter as they contribute a lot of money to elect people that will do their bidding. The union cares less about students and parents than themselves being kept powerful In that, their driving intent matches that of the Congressional politicians.

      We have to try a different tactics-non-violent but morally forceful to return to individual liberty and with it individual responsibility.

    8. Jim, Connecticut says:

      What the…? Did I accidentally sign up for the DailyKos? I don't want to pay for somebody else's kids. I'm not a socialist.

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    10. Pingback: Kids vs. Congress | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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