Inez Feltscher, the Director of the Education and Workforce Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was on Breitbart News Daily with host Stephen K. Bannon to discuss a key program House Speaker Paul Ryan’s omnibus bill opted to not re-authorize.
Adding to other disappointments for conservatives, the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill does not include reauthorization for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). The District’s scholarship program serves low-income residents of the city by allowing them to use the scholarship to send their children to private schools rather than the failing D.C. public school system.
DCOSP is one of the most-studied school choice programs, and has consistently produced excellent outcomes for participating students and parents. The scholarship recipients are overwhelmingly African-American and Hispanic, and come from families making an average income of less than $22,000. Compared to an improved, but still dismal, 58 percent graduation rate in the D.C. public schools, more than 90 percent of DCOSP students graduate from high school, and 98 percent of recent recipients have gone on to attend two- or four-year colleges. Parents unsurprisingly approve of these results, and were more likely to give their child’s new school an A or B on a satisfaction survey than parents in the public school system.
The scholarship program has produced these results for some of the District’s residents most in need of educational attainment at less than half the cost of the bloated per-pupil spending in the public system, which tops the nation at around $29,000 per student, annually. A study on the program’s long-term effects estimated that the additional high school graduates from DCOSP have yielded an extra $183 million, a 162 percent return on investment for taxpayers investing in scholarship students’ futures.