Today's Date: May 22, 2024
NexGen Releases 2023 Sustainability Report   •   Harts Plumbers, Electricians and HVAC Technicians and the Tacoma Rainiers continue honoring service members with 2024 Hometown H   •   Jazz Pharmaceuticals Announces Collaboration with Life Science Cares to Improve the Wellbeing of Under Resourced Communities thr   •   Fuzzy's Taco Shop's Bomb-a-’Rita Returns for Summer   •   Wallbox Announces Six Month Milestones in The Acquisition of ABL, A German Leader in EV Charging   •   Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Gives Most Scholarships In More Than 60 Year History   •   Sealed Is Selected as the First ENERGY STAR® Home Upgrade Service Provider to Help Households Navigate Home Energy Improveme   •   Chad Walter Joins DiningRD as Chief Financial Officer   •   Barbie Celebrates Role-Model Athletes Who Have Broken Boundaries to Encourage Girls to Stay in Sports and Recognize Their Full P   •   Shipping Losses Hit All-Time Low Despite Increasing Risks for the Whole Sector   •   KB Home Announces the Grand Opening of Its Newest Community in Sanford, Florida   •   Lielle™: Spirituality Meets Sustainability   •   Sensata Technologies Holding plc Announces Offering of $500 Million of Senior Notes by Sensata Technologies, Inc.   •   WNS Releases Fourth Annual Corporate Sustainability Report   •   Gil Sommer to Lead Product Functions at OpenX   •   Al Roker, Chef Lorena Garcia, Selenis Leyva and More Join No Kid Hungry During Transformative Year to End Summer Hunger for Kids   •   CIB to lend BC Ferries $75 million to launch its vessel electrification program with the purchase of four ferries   •   Soluna Signs Power Purchase Agreement with EDF Renewables for Texas Data Center Project   •   /C O R R E C T I O N -- Gatorade/   •   Armstrong World Industries Introduces New Product to Reduce Carbon in Commercial Buildings
Bookmark and Share

DC School Voucher Program Restored

 WASHINGTON -- Beginning this September, children in low-income Washington, D.C. families will once again have the opportunity to use school vouchers to attend the private schools of their parents' choice—thanks to an historic budget agreement championed by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and signed by President Barack Obama.

The Fiscal Year 2011 budget reauthorizes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for five years, expands funding for the program, and increases scholarship amounts for students, providing even more children with access to a high quality education. The agreement also solidifies funding for D.C.'s public schools and public charter schools—ensuring that the era of education reform in the District continues unabated.

D.C. Parents for School Choice—the leading local organization promoting the program—hailed the reauthorization, calling it a victory for the thousands of parents who rallied, protested, and demanded equal educational access for five years, even as the program's future looked bleak.

"Today's reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program should send a strong message to parents across the country who seek to fight for their children's rights: if you fight for your children and you never give up, the road will not always be easy, but in the end—justice will prevail," said Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice. "This reauthorization provides hope and opportunity to thousands of children in the District of Columbia whose parents only seek to provide them with better futures and a chance to succeed and achieve their dreams."

"There is no mistaking the significance of this victory," said Kevin P. Chavous, former D.C. Councilman and chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. "Low-income families and committed legislative advocates have triumphed over richly-funded special interests who, just two years ago, were writing the obituary of this program and trouncing the hopes and dreams of children. Today, those children have beaten the odds."

Under the three-sector approach to federal education funding—which is restored in the new budget agreement—$20 million per year will be dedicated to the OSP, while $20 million goes to D.C. public schools and $20 million is allocated for the District's public charter schools. In total, the five-year authorization provides $300 million in K-12 funding for children inWashington, D.C.

Since the program's inception in 2004, students participating in the Opportunity Scholarship Program have posted strong graduation rates and reading improvement. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences, students who were offered, and who used, scholarships posted a 91 percent high school graduation rate—more than 30 percentage points higher than the graduation rates in D.C.'s public schools.

Nationally, Speaker John Boehner, Representative Darrell Issa, Representative Trey Gowdy, Representative Daniel Lipinskiand Representative Jo Ann Emerson championed the program in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the U.S. Senate, Senators Joe LiebermanSusan CollinsDianne Feinstein, and Lamar Alexander have long advocated for the program's restoration.

Locally, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was championed by three of the District's former mayors—Anthony A. Williams, Adrian Fenty, and Marion Barry. A majority of D.C. City Council Members with public views on the OSP support the program; Council support was led by Chairman Kwame Brown, an outspoken supporter of education reform and opportunity for all of D.C.'s children.

In a public opinion survey conducted in February, more than 74 percent of D.C. residents strongly supported the program's reauthorization.  Since inception, nearly 9,000 families have applied to participate in the program.

"There is absolutely no question in my mind that this program has changed my daughter's life for the better," said Sheila Jackson, daughter of scholarship recipient Shawnee Jackson. "She is succeeding, loving school, and dreaming big. This is everything a parent could ask for. And today we are so grateful that other children will have the same opportunities."


STORY TAGS: school vouchersBlack News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News