To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Our District Officials Learning?

Nahhh. They're letting the teachers unions call the shots (again). In this case that means shutting down the DC school voucher program that gives a handfull of kids the chance to escape the District's notoriously shitty public schools:
The groundbreaking federal voucher program that enables nearly 2,000 D.C. children to attend private schools is facing an uncertain future in the Democrat-controlled Congress and may well be heading into its final year of operation, according to officials and supporters of the program.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said this week that she is working on a plan to phase out the controversial D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the first in the country to provide federal money for vouchers. Norton said she wants to proceed in a way that will not harm recipients. But she added that she regarded the program, narrowly approved in 2004 for five years by the then-Republican majority, as on its last legs.

"We have to protect the children, who are the truly innocent victims here," said Norton, who like many Democrats opposes vouchers as a threat to public school systems. "But I can tell you that the Democratic Congress is not about to extend this program."

Most Democrats have traditionally opposed vouchers as a threat to the stability of public schools. The possible demise of the D.C. program is one more sign of the new directions K-12 education reform might soon take as a result of the 2008 election.

So this is about protecting the kids, huh? Well, let's talk to some of parents whose kids are in the program:
Parents of scholarship recipients offer high praise for the program, crediting it with changing the direction of their children's lives. Patricia William, whose son Fransoir, 11, is a sixth-grader at Sacred Heart, a Catholic school in Northwest, said his growth has been striking.

"He's been developed in many ways, intellectually, emotionally and in his values," she said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."

Wendy Cunningham said her daughter Jordan, who will be a senior, has thrived since entering Georgetown Day School two years ago and has had access to opportunities that likely would not be available otherwise. This summer, Cunningham said, Jordan will enter summer programs at Catholic University and San Francisco State.

"Other people should have the same opportunity and choices," said Cunningham, who supplements the voucher money with other funds to make the school's $26,000 tuition.

Fuck, we can't have that, now can we?

Labels: ,