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.