Voices of School Choice: D.C. Students: Save Our Scholarships
Blocking Children's Path to a Better
- Omnibus Spending Bill Eliminates Opportunity: As it
stands now, the House omnibus bill will eliminate the D.C.
Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). Since the program's
inception in 2004, the DCOSP has given thousands of low-income
students in the District of Columbia access to a better
- For Children in Need: About 1,700 children currently
attend private school using opportunity scholarships. The average
household income of a DCOSP family is $23,000.
- Safe and Effective Learning Environments: DCOSP has
yielded positive results for its participants. Studies show higher
parent satisfaction with their child's school safety and learning
environment, and test scores are moving in the right direction as
students regain ground lost in their previous under-performing
Traded in for Violence and Low-Performance: Elimi-nating
DCOSP would take students who are flourishing in a safe and
effective learning environment and send them back into a public
school system that ranks 51st nationally in student achievement,
where barely half of all students graduate high school, and where
one in every eight students reports being assaulted or injured with
a deadly weapon.
- Yet Costs Less: DCOSP costs less per student than
traditional federal programs and provides a better learn-ing
experience. The $13 million cost of DCOSP is a drop in the bucket
compared to the $68 billon in the federal budget for the Department
of Education. The stimulus bill alone added $140 billion over two
years to the Depart-ment of Education, including $15 billion for
Pell grants, which support school choice for upper-income college
- Something All Should Agree On: Nationally, school choice
policies like the DCOSP have attracted bipartisan support. Fourteen
states in total offer students a choice in education, including
Louisiana, where a voucher bill sponsored by Democrats was signed
into law in 2008. State legislative chambers controlled by
Democrats in Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
and Rhode Island have approved school choice bills in recent
Choice for the Fortunate Few
- Congress Has a Choice: A recent Heritage Foundation
survey found that Members of Congress have sent their children to
private schools at rates three to four times the national average.
Yet many Members who practice school choice oppose policies that
would allow low-income families to do the same.
- The President Is a School Choice Success Story:
President Barack Obama, as a child, received an "opportunity"
scholarship to attend a prestigious private school in Hawaii.
- The President Exercises Parental Choice: Obama has made
the wise choice to send his daughters to a leading D.C. private
school rather than the unsafe and low-performing D.C. public
schools. Why not allow others to make the same smart choice for
Go to http://voicesofschoolchoice.org to give
the children of D.C. an extra voice or visit http://blog.heritage.org/2009/02/27/voices-of-school-choice-save-their-scholarships