President Obama’s budget will increase funding to the Department of Education by 3.5% as it also eliminates support for the highly successful DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (DC OSP).
Over 1600 low-income children in one of the nation’s worst-performing and most dangerous school systems currently receive vouchers of $8000, for elementary school, and $12,000, for high school, to attend a private school of their choice. By contrast, thecost per pupil in DC’s public schools is approximately $18,000, making the DC OSP a veritable bargain.
Last year, President Obama told a Today Show audience that he would not send his own children to the Washington DC public schools:
Once again, the president is standing with public school teachers unions as he pumps yet more federal dollars into failing public schools and acts as obstructionist-in-chief to parents in Washington DC who want their children to have a chance for a better education and a better life. While Mr. Obama attempted to zero out the budget for the DC OSP last year, the program was restored and expanded through the efforts of Speaker John Boehner.
The DC OSP is a highly successful program. According to federally mandated evaluations of the program, student achievement has increased, and graduation rates of voucher students have improved significantly. While graduation rates in DC public schools hover around 55 percent, students who used vouchers to attend private schools had a 91% graduation rate.
So, it costs less to offer school choice vouchers, and children who choose non-public schools outperform those in public schools. Naturally, the only rational thing to do is funnel even more money into an already overbloated Department of Education and eliminate the successful school choice program.
Is it November yet?