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  • Speaker Boehner Honors School Choice

    Parents across America who’d like to lift their children out of failing public schools can be grateful that the new leader of the House of Representatives gets it. Speaker John Boehner’s invited guests for tonight’s State of the Union address include students, teachers and other champions of vouchers that allow low-income D.C. children to attend the school of their parents’ choice – a results-getting program targeted for extinction by liberals beholden to government education unions.

    One of Boehner’s guests in the Speaker’s Box is a particularly dear friend of Heritage and the education reform movement: Virginia Walden Ford, who is executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, board member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and a visiting fellow at Heritage.

    What’s more, the Ohio lawmaker and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have pledged to introduce a bill tomorrow to restore funding for Mrs. Walden Ford’s beloved program, called D.C. Opportunity Scholarships, despite the wishes of the Obama administration.

    Three of the 1,200 students in the D.C. vouchers program – Consortium of Catholic Academies eighth-graders Matthew Coleman, Lesly Alvarez and Obiora “Obi” Mbanefo – are among those invited to the Capitol by Boehner to hear President Obama’s address. The speaker’s other guests include Kennie May Jr., another CCA eighth-grader, along with CCA vice principal Lisa Rowe and teachers John P. Kelly, Mary Joyner and Michael Thomasian.

    Also honored with seats in the Speaker’s Box were these friends of the D.C. vouchers program: Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington; John Schilling and Andrew Campanella of the American Federation for Children; Jennifer Marshall, Heritage’s director of domestic policy studies; and Lindsey Burke, Heritage education policy analyst.

    Obama’s remarks on education should be a fitting curtain-raiser for “The Truth About School Choice,” a Heritage event tomorrow at noon that marks National School Choice Week by examining what the research tells us about the results of empowering parents. (If you can’t come, check it out online, either live or later.)

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Speaker Boehner Honors School Choice

    1. Norma in Nebraska says:

      Speaker Boehner is a man who has LIVED the reality of many Americans: he grew up in a large family where money was tight, and every member of the family contributed to the household in order that the family not only survive but thrive. Many families endure the same struggle, instill good values in their children through love and encouragement, stress the value of education, and use discipline as a tool to those ends. Children in these families are not raised with a sense of entitlement because they are taught from a young age that they are expected to be a working member of the family, doing chores and helping others in the family. These families typically live from paycheck to paycheck, and the parents strive towards the goal of giving their children the OPPORTUNITY to live a better life than they have had. And that opportunity is tied to knowledge and education.

      I applaud Speaker Boehner for the selection of his guests for the SOTU. These guests represent all who have worked hard to uplift those who are destined for hardship except for the single educational opportunity given by parents being able to exercise the right to CHOOSE a better place of education for their children.

      I was actually shocked by the President's apparent lack of concern for the underprivileged in Washington, DC when he supported the elimination of the voucher program. WHY would any leader in our country want to remove the opportunity for children to lift themselves up and be a successful and productive part of our society? The only conclusion I can come to that the progressives are afraid that success of such a program might become the norm which would end up in schools who are not efficient or effective being eliminated right along with their mediocre teachers. Here's a thought: Are the teachers' unions more important than the education and success of our children?

      We are spending billions of dollars on education, especially since the federal Department of Education was created. Perhaps this department needs to be eliminated, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars, and return the responsibility and the accountability of successful schools to the States where it belongs!

      So my hat is off to Speaker Boehner. It seems he is listening to the people for whom he works, and this is his firm signal to them that he indeed hears them and intends to do something about their plight!

    2. Jan Dinkins Southern says:

      As a N.C. retired educator but still teaching part-time(because I need the funds),I have felt so insulted by all the negative news, North Carolina does not have a teacher's union but rather the NCAE which is the North Carolina Association of Educators. The top salary for a N.C. educator is $50.000. North Carolina teachers are subject to abuse(sometimes physical and verbal from students.) We have little recourse except to quit. I am an advocate of school choice….charter,private, or home schools. For the most part,public schools are the "bottom of the barrel". The fault lies primarily with poor parenting,too many freedoms at home as well as at school and lack of discipline. I am in full agreement with Speaker Boehner. The less the federal government has to do with education the better student achievement will be.

    3. Bobbie says:

      I admire John Boehner. He's a man of his word and I trust him to be that man. Honesty is the best policy, especially when you're forced to work with deception and cover. Paul Ryan, another strong, intelligent, dignified person of honesty. The only kind of leadership Americans deserve… the only kind I vote for.

      Mr. Boehner, money has proven not to be the problem in the public education system for at least 10 yrs.. In my state, schools have been closing due to parent or child's choice and now this state says they want extended counseling in these schools to eliminate closings? This only and unfairly influences the choice. Also a waste of money. I personally don't believe counseling should be a provision in government run, public schools. It conflicts with the upbringing of the parent and it is difficult and timely to correct. Thank you.

    4. Spiritof76, NH says:

      I am glad to see that Speaker Boehner invited DC school scholarsip supporters and parents to be his guest for the SOTU address. It is too bad that the president is just a con-artist and couldn't care less about those kids from poor families trying to rise out of poverty.

    5. kit725pun, Lady Lake says:

      I have sent a slew of e-mailings to people praising Mr. Boehner for stepping up to reinstate the funding for those many struggling families of school-aged children in D.C. When I first read that he was doing this, from another news source, it gave me a renewed hope that there will be a serious turn for the better in our Country under his leadership. We have but a seriously limited time to get this parade turned around. It must, to work, take the effort of all of us.

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