Finally finding one government program they could do without, liberals passed the omnibus spending bill which included express language killing the successful Washington, DC school vouchers program.
Proposed by former President Bush in 2003, the DC Opportunity Scholarship (OSP) provides school choice to parents of the most disadvantaged students. Passed into law by Congress in 2004, the program provides up to $7500 in scholarship funds to approximately 1700 children who would otherwise be doomed to gang and drug infested academically deficient public schools run by incompetent union protected bureaucrats.
The program has been operational long enough now for data to be in showing the effectiveness of the program. Only a liberal would need this explained. The DC taxpayers spend $14,400 per pupil each year to keep them in dangerous and inadequate schools. For half that amount, parents can send their children to schools that are not run by somnambulant bureaucrats and gang bangers. To put it in the language of euphemism so favored by the left: without vouchers, 80% of 1700 schoolchildren would be forced into public schools that have not made “adequate yearly progress” per the No Child Left Behind Act.
“Deep in the folds of the thousand-page 2010 spending bill, which wraps together six bills, is language that (thankfully) would continue funding for students currently in the program but close it down for new students. Also included are onerous requirements about testing and site visits.”
Contrary to claims of this being a compromise, the measure is really slow death for a program that provides $7,500 annually to low-income students to attend private schools.”
The rate of minority enrollment in the voucher program is approximately 99%. The family income hovers around $20,000. In other words, the liberal constituency. The DC public school systems spends far more than most and has nothing but shame and wrecked lives to show for it. Barely half of all public school students graduate. This despite all of the ingenious manipulation by liberals to make us believe those piles of taxpayer dollars are not being jettisoned by union thugs and lazy bureaucrats.
Considering DC’s stellar track record of academic excellence, one might expect the effective and cost efficient OSP would be welcomed. Such confusion is understandable if one insists on focusing on what liberals say they want rather than what they actually accomplish. Without benefit of a PhD in education, most of us can figure out why the voucher program works. Studies have consistently shown that students perform better academically without bullets whizzing over their heads and when taught by teachers who are smarter than they are.
According to the Heritage Foundation, parental satisfaction is also having a salutary effect on the kids. Parents feel positively about their children’s safety in the voucher schools and notice their children take on a more positive attitude toward learning. The voucher program hands some actual parenting power back over to the parents and the kids are the clear winners.
Virginia Walden Ford spoke at CPAC 2009 about the DC voucher program. In the 1990s, Ford had no choice but to send her son to a decrepit public school. For years, then Mayor Marion Barry and the City Council were ferociously opposed to any type of union- offending school choice. Barry eventually stunned the world by changing his mind or sobering up and wrote a pro choice article for the Washington Times. The message is clear and unambiguous: even Marion Barry can understand this!
Ford’s son eventually received a scholarship to Archbishop Carroll High school where he would thrive. In a happy ending guaranteed to make liberals apoplectic, Ford’s son eventually enrolled in the Marine Corps and served his country valiantly in Iraq.
Hoping to prevent similar disasters in the future, democrats wasted no time destroying the DC voucher program. Buried in the National Tragedy Known as Omnibus™ is specific language exterminating the successful school choice program. The odious omnibus includes a whopping $140 billion for the superb Department of Education. The legislation mandated that no federal funds can be used to continue the DC voucher program beyond 2010 without approval of congress and and the DC City Council.
In other words, our current Oval Office resident just sentenced 1700 children to dangerous and ineffective inner city schools.
Obama and congress did this well aware of the cost effectiveness of the voucher program; the positive effects on the children and their parents and the long term obvious benefit to the community. But we needn’t bother ourselves with that if we are liberals. As long as we make the right noises about our compassion and concern for minorities, we’re cool. Everyone knows the real racists are those conservatives who refuse to understand the importance of preserving a thoroughly dysfunctional status quo.
Representative John Ensign (R-NV) audaciously tried to insert language into Omnibull in hopes of saving the DC voucher program. It failed 58-39.
Anyone wondering if one of those 58 send their kids to DC public school? Dick Durbin (D-IL) provided this well reasoned argument against vouchers: the program would take money away from the public school system.
Which would be a lot like defeating a bill designed to take matches away from arsonists.
Durbin doesn’t think we should “give up” on the DC public school system. Most thinking people are perfectly happy to “give up” a dangerous and ineffective plan. But liberals never trouble themselves with facts. We are to judge strictly on their stated, phony agendas. As long as they say they are all about helping the disadvantaged, we are to take them at the word.
But you don’t have to dig very far below the surface to see that liberals, for all of their claims to be the sole arbiters on all matters of compassion in the world are, in fact, extraordinarily cruel. Nary a day goes by when we don’t hear some celebutard like Sean Penn waxing downright lyrical over some murderous thug of a dictator, be it Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. Our current president staked out the ever popular pro infanticide position, startling even to Barbara Boxer. And in the left’s most recent display of endless love and compassion for the downtrodden, they choked the life out of a creative, effective and uplifting school choice program thus, dooming innocent children to sadder, if not shorter, lives in gang infested hell holes.
Forty five percent of Senators send their children to private schools, almost four times the rate of the general population.
Half of all teenagers in DC public schools are in schools with enough crime incidents to be classified as “persistently dangerous”.
I recommend we label congress, the president and their despicable union cronies “persistently dangerous” as well.