• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • National School Choice Week: SOAR Act Gives D.C. School Children Second Chance

    On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, which was fairly heavy on education policy, this morning Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announced that they will introduce a bill – the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act – to reinstate the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: a voucher program for low-income students in the nation’s capital.

    Speaker Boehner’s commitment to this issue is underscored by his inviting D.C. Opportunity Scholarship students and advocates of the program as his special guests to last night’s State of the Union address.

    The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has helped thousands of children in the nation’s capital improve their chances at educational success through school choice. However, President Obama stood by as Congress worked to phase out the scholarships.

    And despite stating in his speech last night that the responsibility to educate children “begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities,” choosing to phase out school choice weakens parents abilities to “do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.”

    Said Speaker Boehner today:

    In his State of the Union message last night, President Obama spoke of the vital role education plays in making our nation competitive….That’s what opportunity scholarships are doing in Washington, D.C., and that’s what they’ll do for education throughout America if we give parental choice a chance.

    On behalf of the families of D.C.’s inner-city schools – and those of inner-city schools throughout America–I stand with Sen. Lieberman today and respectfully ask the President to take another look at this program. I hope the Obama Administration will assure the children, teachers, and parents of this city that this successful program will be allowed to continue–and work with us, in a bipartisan way, to make it a model for similar programs throughout our country.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to National School Choice Week: SOAR Act Gives D.C. School Children Second Chance

    1. Robert R. Reynolds, says:

      An artful job of accentuating the positive and avoiding the negative.

    2. mary ellen says:

      isn't it more important we get our spending under control, and get jobs started

      before we worry about any other programs even if it is for schools!!!!

      I might be dating myself but my teachers had 50 kids in each class and I had an

      excellent education. We keep getting off track, we need to stay focused!

    3. Bill M., Chicago says:

      What gets lost in the politics of this issue is that school choice vouchers actually result in reduced education costs, not incremental. The fully loaded cost of a Chicago Public School student is $15,800/yr. …about 2-3 times the cost of a private school education. The biggest difference is the bloated school union bureaucracy. The results speak for themselves…with a 50%+ failure rate at the Chicago schools. Unfortunately, when our President says he wants to "invest in education" he really means investing in the teachers unions.

    4. Molly Dow / Dillard says:

      This program does not cost money, it saves money. The dollars spent on education follow the child. Stop pandering to the union and start educating our children.

    5. cecelia says:

      I am quietly surprised and secretly delighted that the new Speaker relies less on soliloquies and more on actions that are of real substance.Education comes in many forms, ideally in youth; as and adult learner I would also like to express that the desire to improve does not decrease with age.This web site is portal, expanding my understanding of issues debates beyond the facile. Thank you . Though my own personal journey appears to be standstill it is not just my finances in the the interim I continue to read grow and reach for the comprehension that is not beyond my grasp but fostered here in the many articles, essays and papers; restoring a sense of reason and the national character.

    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.