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DC School Voucher Program Killed -- Poor, Minorities Hardest Hit

Via The Heartland Institute:

"House and Senate Appropriators this week ignored the wishes of D.C.'s mayor, D.C.'s public schools chancellor, a majority of D.C.'s city council, and more than 70 percent of D.C. residents and have mandated the slow death of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. This successful school voucher program--for D.C.'s poorest families--has allowed more than 3,300 children to attend the best schools they have ever known.

The decision to end the program, a decision buried in a thousand-page spending bill and announced right before the holidays, destroys the hopes and dreams of thousands of D.C. families. Parents and children have rallied countless times over the past year in support of reauthorization and in favor of strengthening the OSP.

Yet, despite the clearly positive results and the proven success of this program, Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Jose Serrano, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Secretary Arne Duncan worked together to kill the OSP. Funding the program only for existing children shrinks the program each year, compromises the federal evaluation of the program, denies entry to the siblings of existing participants, and punishes those children waiting in line by sentencing them to failing and often unsafe schools.

What is incredibly disappointing to low-income families in Washington, D.C. has been the silence of President Barack Obama. The President, who benefited from K-12 scholarships himself, worked on behalf of low-income families in Chicago, and exercises school choice as a parent, has stood silently on the sidelines while his Secretary of Education belittled the importance of helping such a small number of children in the nation's capital."

At BigGovernment.com, SusanAnne Hiller notes,

The Democrats have spent trillions of our tax dollars so carelessly with failed stimulus pork payouts, cash for clunkers, auto bailouts, bank bailouts, and additional Fannie and Freddie bailouts, you would think they could spare an extra $50 million over five years to continue to educate poor children-especially minority children.

For the record, it was the Republicans in 2004 who started the voucher program and Republican Senator John Ensign (R-NV) who introduced an amendment to the omnibus appropriations bill to extend the voucher program. Democrats voted down the amendment 50-39.

Are Democrats so steeped in the venom of partisanship that they simply could not bring themselves to approve an extension of a program that has given thousands of poor minority children a chance to earn admission to some of DC's best private schools, simply because the program was enacted by Republicans? No, that can't be right -- we became a "post-partisan" nation on January 20, 2009, didn't we?

I'll admit it. I'm stumped, probably because I'm not enlightened enough. I'm sure our leftist commenters can easily explain how shutting poor inner city minority children out of perhaps their only chance for a good education is really the best thing for those children and their families. Steve Green? Vic? bryanD? Unrepentant Democrat? Help me out here, please.

: The Anchoress and others like the idea of blogs raising private scholarship money and giving it to needy DC families. What do you think?


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Comments (23)

And where is the "MSM" on t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

And where is the "MSM" on this?

Can't blame it on Bush, so ... (Below threshold)

Can't blame it on Bush, so it's invisible.

I'll admit it. I'm stumped, probably because I'm not enlightened enough. I'm sure our leftist commenters can easily explain how shutting poor inner city minority children out of perhaps their only chance for a good education is really the best thing for those children and their families.

It's not about the kids. You let poor kids get a good education, get a good chance at life, and they'll start thinking they're not dependent on what government and unions can do for them. If they're not dependent, they may start thinking for themselves and probably won't vote the way the Democrats want them to.

This is unacceptable. Far better to keep them poor and ignorant than lose a Democratic vote!

This may jolt the poor, tir... (Below threshold)

This may jolt the poor, tired minorities into thinking about abandoning the Democratic party????

The teachers unions must be... (Below threshold)

The teachers unions must be placated, even if it means keeping these poor kids in the violence-ridden schools and destroying any hope for them of having a productive future.

Besides, who do these kids think they are? The Obama's kids?

It's been a while since we'... (Below threshold)

It's been a while since we've heard the Democrats say, "For the children," about anything. It's strange for them not to use one of their favorite stock sayings.

Look on the bright side (if... (Below threshold)

Look on the bright side (if you are a liberal). You get to keep 'the poor and downtrodden'; well, poor and downtrodden. At the same time you take pressure off the public school teachers to do their job. You can then use that $50 million on something more deserving...like funding ACORN for another year.

Sounds like a win-win-win for Team Barry. Anyone taking bets that the Congressional BLACK Caucus and NAACP won't just role over in solidarity with Barry?

Maybe we should see a list ... (Below threshold)
Iowaright wife:

Maybe we should see a list of the people that voted against this to really understand their hypocracy. I would also like to see who supports their campaign to better understand who really wants this funding removed. Where does the teachers union stand on this? I hope this issue is rally given legs to really show that these Democrats could care less about the poor and minority communities. Power and control is all they are after and dependent people are easier to control which eventually will lead these people to have more power.

And next time around they w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

And next time around they will vote en masse for the dems. They get what they deserve.

does'nt surprise me that li... (Below threshold)

does'nt surprise me that libs act like fascists.

You'll notice 'the usual su... (Below threshold)

You'll notice 'the usual suspects' will just bypass this blog entry.

Sadly, it has been stated b... (Below threshold)

Sadly, it has been stated before that for the Republicans to take up this cause would not really help them, because poor blacks would continue to vote for the Democrats, no matter what.

I would suggest that the Republicans and Conservatives take up this cause because it is the RIGHT thing to do. Fight wrong, no matter if you can see personal gain.

This is the attitude we must all adopt.

I agree with Grace. Our lib... (Below threshold)

I agree with Grace. Our liberal friends here will probably say it is a cynical move for political gain cloaked in moral indignation, but, ultimately, it is the right thing to do and that's all that matters.

"You'll notice 'the usual s... (Below threshold)

"You'll notice 'the usual suspects' will just bypass this blog entry."
10. Posted by GarandFan

It's called Pride. Responding to too many threads on a blog written by mystery men is a bit pathetic. Unless one is crippled or in a nursing home or mental hospital; then it's perfectly fine.

I'll lurk through tomorrow, then I have things to do.

As for this thread? I agree with Wizbang's basic points.

See? But that's no fun.

BryanD, I could be... (Below threshold)
jim m:


I could be wrong, but Michael Laprarie doesn't sound like a mystery pseudonym so I don't think it's fair to make it sound like this was some post from an anonymous blogger.

You've had no problems responding on other threads today. That's not really lurking so much.

You actually agree with the point that was made in the post? Well what prevents you from demonstrating that bipartisanship that liberals always claim is so important?

All snark aside, I'm glad to hear that we can all agree on at least on point. Things that work should be supported regardless of whether we thought they might be a good idea beforehand. Actually, this was one of the few things that actually has done some good in DC lately. It's unfortunate that politics got in the way of improving people's lives.

See, its all about fun with... (Below threshold)

See, its all about fun with bD.
You missed that part, Jim m.
Agreeing with us is no fun. Makes one feel spent and empty no doubt.

There is an interesting Web... (Below threshold)

There is an interesting Website dealing with the power and goals of the NEA and AFT. http://teachersunionexposed.com/

These unions do a dandy job of featherbedding, protecting poor teachers, and blocking reforms. Killing this voucher program is certainly a feather in their cap.

As a "give back" to the local community I taught in a public high school for a year. The Teacher's Lounge was a hotbed of unionism. I would leave the narrow trailer they gave me to teach in and quietly sit in the back of the lounge to eat my lunch. The discussions at other tables had nothing to do with quality of education and everything to do with "rights and benefits."

Yes, they were/are, in my view, underpaid and had/have a lousy retirement plan, but they also did a mediocre job. Chicken-->Egg-->Chicken
It's a difficult cycle to break and this move perpetuates the mediocrity.

My favorite analogy is that Liberals want everyone to fly coach... except for the political intellectual elite. EVERYONE gets the same hard seat, the same thin blanket, the same mediocre food, the same bad movie. That's their ideal image... while they fly on an Air Force Special Air Mission C-21/LearJet.

#14 and #15,You miss... (Below threshold)

#14 and #15,
You missed BD's loop hole: in a mental hospital. Clearly you should not be surprised that he's in a nuthatch.

"BryanD,I could be w... (Below threshold)

I could be wrong, but Michael Laprarie doesn't sound like a mystery pseudonym so I don't think it's fair to make it sound like this was some post from an anonymous blogger."-jim m

Did I say "pseudonym"? No.
I am referring to occupation or accomplishments.
No offense, but no one at Wizbang is filing FOIA requests, or has any experience in the fields and topics being (re-)covered***, or I would assume it would be justifiably touted.
Again, that's fine because this blog is of the *entertainment, political* stripe, which very, very wisely features an open (non-registered) comments policy.

The PLA is not monitoring this blog.

As for Laprarie, we're on record here agreeing that a certain Pasolini film is most excellent. That's all I know. Most people would think Pasolini is some kind of pasta BTW. That's to M.L.'S credit.

***except for financial-whatever, J. Javitz.
Ugh! Poor sap. :-P

"See, its all about fun with bD.
You missed that part, Jim m.
Agreeing with us is no fun. Makes one feel spent and empty no doubt."
15. Posted by epador

I thought you said once that YOU were a doctor/nurse?/medical tech?/phlebotomist.

WELLL? Is Tits gonna make it or not?

Dr.Epidural to latest Rush Thread, STAT!

Racist lefties care more ab... (Below threshold)

Racist lefties care more about using tax dollars for their own pet projects than lifting young people out of their meager surroundings.

Barry is proof positive of that..Enslaving future generations to pay for His lavish lifestyle..

the enemy, obama, soros pup... (Below threshold)

the enemy, obama, soros puppet throwing quality education under the bus.

Repubs should jump on this.... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Repubs should jump on this.
It's the right thing to do, for one thing.
For another thing, it really makes the Dems look bad.
Yeah, I'm under no illusions that it will make much of a dent in minority D.C.voters, but it will cause a small ripple throughout the country.
drip drip drip

And where is the "... (Below threshold)
James H:
And where is the "MSM" on this?

It's there. Found a few articles off a short search, including a Washington Post editorial calling it a "worthy program."

Please post the votes on th... (Below threshold)

Please post the votes on this .

reps. name, Party, State, and yea or nay.






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