More Change … Obama Extends DC School Voucher Program … No One New Need Apply


DC School Vouchers … No New Children Need Apply.

Change? Changing a benefit for low income students to force them to go to public school. Nice. Choice? Obama chooses teachers unions over children.

What ever happened to the Democratic montra of choice? They take the tact that it is a woman’s right to choose when it comes time for an abortion, but when to educate a living child, the rights of school vouchers are a no. Not for Obama when it represents a “threat” to the public school lobbyists who support him. So much for change.

Although President Obama is extending the DC voucher program, he is only doing so to funnel the existing children through the program and accepting no new applicants so that he can end it in a couple of years. As Hot Air eloquently states, the Obama Administration racks up a “$1 TRILLION federal deficit as the eye can see and somehow he and the Democrats can’t scrape together a few million to keep this going”.

The budget documents, which expand on the fiscal 2010 blueprint that Congress approved last month by outlining Obama’s priorities in detail, would provide $12.2 million for the Opportunity Scholarship Program for the 2009-2010 school year. The new language also would revise current law that makes further funding for existing students contingent on Congress’s reauthorization of the program beyond its current June 2010 expiration date. Under the Obama proposal, further congressional action would not be necessary, and current students would automatically receive grants until they finish school.

The voucher program was created in 2003 and is a Republican favorite, providing low-income students with a maximum $7,500 grant to attend a private or parochial school. All students come from households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line, and 8,000 students entered a lottery to participate. But liberal education groups, including the National Education Association, have argued that the experimental program is poorly administered and that voucher recipients have not performed measurably better in their new schools.

Do you think the public school union lobbyists have anything to do with the eventual killing of this program? Choice to low income students is a threat to public schools.

In a March 6, 2009 letter to Obama, the NEA president Dennis Van Roekel called the D.C. program “an ongoing threat to public education in the District of Columbia” and urged Obama to “use your voice to help eliminate this threat” by opposing “any efforts to extend this ineffective program.

From the Weekly Standard, a translation of Obamaese:

Let me be perfectly clear. Everyone is going to know I’m killing this demonstrably effective program because of the political debt I owe to teachers’ unions, which I of course assured everyone would not dictate my education policies. So let’s just extend this enough to get people off my back even if it means taking the morally abhorrent position that the program is good enough for these succeeding, satisfied kids and parents, but no one else should be allowed to be similarly successful and satisfied, lest I lose my gazillions in union support.

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  • Comments

    15 Responses to “More Change … Obama Extends DC School Voucher Program … No One New Need Apply”

    1. St Stephen on May 7th, 2009 11:10 am

      Although I have had my reservations about homeschooling in the past, I am beginning to see the relevance for it, especially when it comes to the government mandating what school your child attends and what agenda it puts in their curriculum.

      Smells of a propaganda mill to me at any rate.

    2. Michelle Smith on May 7th, 2009 12:23 pm

      @#1 I have to agree. I’m not happy with what they are teaching in schools these day and how the schools are being run. They are teaching their beliefs & their own agenda rather than facts.

    3. SUPER DAVE on May 7th, 2009 1:03 pm

      kids are attending school now to watch movies more often than not. this is so the school can turn in a head count and receive money for attendence.
      four years ago when my son was a senior, i would ask why he was having trouble with algebra or another class. he said the teachers did not teach and if you wanted help you had to come to school an hour early for tutoring.
      i can remember many times when i took him to school for tutoring only to have the treacher to be a no show.

    4. HOPE on May 7th, 2009 3:10 pm

      I never believed in school vouchers and my instinct about them was correct. As parents opted to send their children to private schools or to schools in the suburbs, the schools in neighborhoods who had the lowest tax bases were faced with, even, less funding. When it comes to education, no child should be left behind and every child in every school district should be treated equally.

    5. St Stephen on May 7th, 2009 3:52 pm

      The dilemma is that concerned and loving parents only want what is best for their children, and that happens to be school vouchers in this case.

      I agree no child should be left behind and at the same token, teachers should be graded as well as their students and if they don’t cut the mustard, dijon or otherwise, then they should be terminated and find a job that they are better suited to.

      Super Dave gave a prime example of what is endemic in the nation’s schooling processes.

      Change I can believe in would be a school voucher to improve the lot of our youth. This is an issue of National Security in that we need the generations that follow us to be intelligent enough to understand and face the challenges ahead of us.

      It dont seam 2 b happenin wit de present skool sistum.

    6. stephen on May 7th, 2009 4:23 pm

      I had my doubts when he was first elected (I voted for McCain), but he has showed me what he is all about. You can’t expect him to fix a system that has been broken for decades in a hundred days, you can’t blame him for the economy either. Let’s give him a couple years before we pass such harsh judgment.

      We gave Bush Jr. a free pass for 8 years, I think Obama deserves at least 2.

    7. St Stephen on May 7th, 2009 5:24 pm

      #6 Stephen

      Actually, since he is the President of the United States, we are, through the Democracy that we enjoy thanks to the sacrifices of our brave men and women of the armed services, giving him 4 years.

      Should he get a failing grade we will elect someone else. Sound fair?

    8. PA Mom on May 8th, 2009 9:55 am

      The problem with inter-city schools is the gang related violence. The teachers can’t teach in the uncontrolled environment. They take their lives in their hands just going to work each day. This is why they need school vouchers in DC. The private schools control the violence much more effectively. There is much less violence in the private schools than in the public school system.

      If I lived in DC, I would want my kids to go to a private school just to physically protect them. It is much easier to learn when you’re not fighting for your life. If they want to do away with vouchers, they need to protect the kids that go to school to learn.

    9. Rusty Bridges on May 8th, 2009 10:30 am

      #4, hope what the hell are you talking about? How does this validate your belief that school vouchers are wrong? You are wrong and so is Obama, thats all that it validates.

      People that send their children to private schools pay their childs tuition instead of the taxes that go to education. That child is no longer a burden to the school system budget. So in theory it should be an even swap. But the only problem now is that the school system will not make a profit on that child and the private school will and that is a huge problem with our government that is attempting to stamp out the free market enterprise and shove diversity agenda down our kids throats.

    10. on May 8th, 2009 9:21 pm

      School vouchers should make schools competitive. Those that do the best job for the least amount of money will survive under a voucher system and those that do a poor job will find themselves under water. The voucher merely says: this is what the State system would cost if you sent your child – take it and buy the best schooling for him/her whether it be a public school or a private school where you may have to add your own dollars to the pile. What’s unfair about that?

    11. HOPE on May 9th, 2009 4:15 am


      Is that what you call thinking for yourself,

      or would it be best described as thinking only

      of yourself?

      Where are you from?


      Oldest trick in the book. Send all the white kids to private schools and leave the children of color, who by no fault of their own happen to to be born with darker skin, in under-funded public schools so their not allowed to attend many universities and compete for the higher paying jobs. It’s called systematic discrimination. It went on for nearly a century and, even, exists today. Do you believe in segregation?

    12. Michelle Smith on May 9th, 2009 2:19 pm


      Where does it say that only whites will receive these vouchers? It doesn’t. What the hell are you talking about anyway? This will help many more kids of any color get into better schools that they would not otherwise. Not everyone can afford to send their children to private schools but this will give more children a chance at better schools, it has nothing to do with color of skin but you seem to make it about race. Why is that? And what does being from Alabama have to do with it? Do you have something against people from Alabama? Are you being a bigot? I don’t know where Katablog is from but I don’t see what relevance that has on the topic at hand.

    13. HOPE on May 9th, 2009 5:43 pm


      I wasn’t addressing you…


      To All:

      In case you didn’t know…. most the bloggers on this website are from the dirty, dirty south. Don’t you recognize their rhetoric? Pretty disgusting in my opinion that in the year 2009 we still have those that think their children are somehow better, deserve better and continue to support a dialog that systematically discriminate against others.



      No sense in arguing about it… it’s a thing of the past.

    14. HOPE on May 9th, 2009 6:00 pm

      This was the debate:

      There were sessions held as recent as April of 2009 regarding the constitutionality of the use of school vouchers, obviously, those opposed to them won out. Another thing for the whiners to cry about.

    15. HOPE on May 9th, 2009 6:05 pm

      By the way, you can still send your children to private school… but the government isn’t going to help you pay for it by subtracting those funds from public school budgets…

      Sorry, Charlie!

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