DC School Choice Survives Political Infighting

By US Daily Review Staff.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) will be fully funded and implemented for the upcoming school year, after key lawmakers and the Obama Administration agreed today to ensure that the provisions contained in last year’s reauthorization package are allowed to take effect.

The American Federation for Children—the nation’s voice for school choice—praised House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) for reaching today’s agreement with the Department of Education, a move that reverses one made by President Obama earlier this year that would have failed to fund the program and placed unlawful caps on the number of students eligible for the voucher program.

Boehner and Lieberman played a critical role in working with Administration officials to ensure that there would not be an enrollment cap in the OSP, that current scholarship participants can continue to submit their applications, and that the program would be fully funded, as provided by legislation signed by the President last spring that restored and reauthorized the program for an additional five years. Boehner and Lieberman jointly authored a letter to the president this past March urging the Administration to adhere to the letter and spirit of last year’s reauthorization agreement.

“We’re grateful to Speaker Boehner and Senator Lieberman for their unwavering support for this program and their leadership in the effort to fully implement it,” said Kevin P. Chavous, a senior advisor to the American Federation for Children and a former member of the D.C. City Council. “The program, which has been a lifeline to thousands of families all across the nation’s capital, will now be available to even more children in desperate need of an alternative to their current educational environment.”

The agreement further strengthens the OSP, which has proven to be one of the most successful and popular education initiatives across the country. Students who used their scholarships during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years graduated at a rate of 94 percent, and 89 percent of those graduates went on to enroll in college, according to the program’s administrator, the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program served more than 1,600 students this past school year.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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