As I noted last night, the House omni-pork bill includes a provision to strangle D.C. public school choice.
President Obama, you chose the D.C. school you thought best for your daughters. Why won’t you let other D.C. parents do the same?
Andrew Coulson blasts the Democrats behind the measure:
SINCE 2004, a federally funded private-school voucher program has of fered a lifeline to a few thousand inner-city kids in Washington, DC. Its initial five-year authorization is up for congressional renewal this week – and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, chaired by Democrats David Obey and Daniel Inouye, respectively, are trying to ever-so-subtly unravel it.
The bill on the table fails to reauthorize the program for another five-year term, as would be usual. Instead, it only funds the program for another year. Worse, it would grant a new veto power over the program to the DC City Council – so that the program could be killed down the line by either Congress or the City Council.
It’s clear that congressional Democrats want this program dead, but are hoping someone else will pull the plug so that they can’t be blamed for kicking 1,900 kids out of independent and parochial schools they’ve come to depend on. Chairman Obey (D-Wis.) has reportedly urged DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to prepare for the return of voucher students to DCPS.
Think of it as Myanmar on the Potomac: When Myanmar’s ruling junta blocked desperately needed aid from reaching its cyclone-ravaged people last May, the world was outraged. How could a nation’s leaders do that and still live with themselves? We might well ask our Democratic leaders in Washington the same question – for the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program provides a desperately needed escape from the city’s disastrous public schools.