Politicians Attacking Successful, Locally-Supported DC Choice Program

I may get the occasional snarky comment from people who don’t like school choice, but don’t feel bad for me. Instead, get angry about the kids in Washington DC who are in the middle of a political tug-of-war over their Opportunity Scholarships and educational futures.

Why get angry?

[Illinois Democrat] Senator [Dick] Durbin was busy introducing new, onerous regulations on the program in an appropriations bill last week. In particular, his measures would require participating private schools to take the DC public school test rather than a nationally-normed standardized test, even though they may not have the same curriculum as DCPS. His measures would also require the Secretary of Education to prohibit voucher students from attending any private school that was not deemed “superior” to DC public schools.

Senator Durbin and the other NEA-backed cronies not only are trying to stamp out a cost-saving private school choice program that is showing real success, but they’re also seeking to shut down a program that has strong local support. From an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The life and death saga of the D.C. voucher program for low-income families continues. A majority of the members of the D.C. Council recently sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan expressing solid support for continuing the program. “We strongly urge you to stand with us in supporting these children and continuing the District’s Opportunity Scholarship Program,” says the letter. “We believe we simply cannot turn our backs on these families because doing so will deny their children the quality education they deserve.”

Over at the Heritage Foundry blog, Dan Lips has posted a link to a scanned copy of the DC Council’s letter to Arne Duncan.

It’s too early to give up. As I said before, get angry. Stand up and show your support for the kids in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, whose opportunity is under attack by politicians and the teachers union.