Obama Excites Colorado Charter Schools, Will He Protect D.C. Vouchers?

The Rocky Mountain News today reports on jubilation from some Colorado charter school quarters at the promise of a Barack Obama presidency:

So last week, when America elected a president who promises to double federal funding for charter schools, KIPP Denver founder Richard Barrett was among the area educators hoping Barack Obama will follow through on his plan for public education.

“We’ve made no excuse about it. We just deal with it,” Barrett said of the school’s facility issues. “But when are we going to have equity for our kids?

“If Obama’s plan would help that process, more power to it,” he added. “Fantastic.”

No doubt charter school supporters in Colorado and elsewhere would be “buzzing” about the potential of more federal funding to alleviate problems in facilities and other areas caused by unequal state funding. I would be glad to see the new President-elect demonstrate that he’s a true friend to charter schools, but there are limits to his backing of school choice:

But if Obama is willing to step across some boundaries, there are others he is not. [Michael] Johnston, his education adviser, said that includes vouchers.

This news is, of course, not surprising to anyone who followed the presidential debates. While Barack Obama appears unwilling to advance school voucher programs, the students and parents of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program at least have to hope that he’s not going to rob the precious educational choice they already have. Especially since Obama plans to send his own kids to private school in the District of Columbia.

Can we all believe in “change” that includes protecting and expanding educational opportunities that parents choose – whether they be public or private schools?