Obama Turns His Back on at-Risk DC Students

Wednesday, 06 Apr 2011 11:10 AM

By Ralph Reed

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The House voted on and passed legislation yesterday to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and provide additional school improvement funding for the D.C. public schools and charter schools.

The legislation passed by a vote of 225 to 195. (Click here to see how your representative voted.)

Sadly, the Obama administration continues to stand in the way of allowing the parents of the most at-risk students the same freedoms that Obama himself enjoys when making decisions about his own daughters’ education. Obama has promised to veto this legislation should it make its way to his desk for signature.

It is outrageous that while his own wealth allows him to pick the prestigious Sidwell Friends private school for his children, President Obama denies the children of Washington, D.C., scholarships that will lift them out of some of the most troubled schools in the nation.

Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan is no less outrageous when he says he wants to move to Virginia so he can send his children to Arlington schools, refusing to risk his own children’s futures in the D.C. public schools.

An academic freedom that allows parents to pursue greater opportunity for their children is at the heart of the American dream.

A recent poll, showing that fully 74 percent of Washington, D.C., residents want Congress to restore the scholarship program, confirms that D.C. residents recognize the clear benefits of school choice. This recognition is for good reason.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship students who used their scholarships posted graduation rates of 91 percent — more than 30 points higher than the graduation rates in D.C.’s public schools.

Politicians who oppose D.C. Opportunity Scholarships merely to win favor with the far-left public-employee unions do a huge disservice to parents, taxpayers, and children who need the most help.

Kudos to the House Republican leadership and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and House Education and the Workforce Committee on passage of this bill.

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