Democrats, doing the bidding of their master the NEA, are attacking another successful voucher program. The four-year-old Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to about 2,000 low-income children so they can attend religious or other private schools, is set to expire at the end of the year, and Democrats are refusing to extend it.
I particularly like William Gangware’s letter to the editior.
Putting Poor Children’s Future Last
Your editorial “Putting Children Last” (June 11) got it right: Ending the federal voucher program in Washington, D.C., does nothing to help poor students, many of whom are dependent upon the program to attend the school of their choice.
Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.), proposing an end to D.C.’s innovative Opportunity Scholarship Program — the nation’s first federal voucher program allowing low-income students to leave failing schools and attend private alternatives — told the Washington Post “We have to protect the children, who are the truly innocent victims here.”
Protect them from what? If Ms. Norton truly cares about the children, many of them from low-income, minority families, why does she demand they relinquish their much-needed scholarships and return to D.C. public schools, where a dismal 57.6% of all high-school students graduate?
The reason is simple: Ms. Norton is more concerned with protecting the public schools, which systematically fail to adequately educate and graduate students in the poorest districts of the U.S.
Federal vouchers for school choice are the only protection that low-income D.C. students have against their failing public schools. It’s time to quit playing politics and start supporting school choice policies that actually benefit the lowest-income members of society — the very constituency these politicians claim they want to protect.