We would hope that Congress would recognize certain truths. First, that the time for a rhetorical debate about this program has passed. There are 1,900 children enrolled -- quite happily -- in the program. What's at stake is not a political point of honor but the opportunity for children to go to schools that work for them. Second, it's a program that is supported by District leaders and embraced by their constituents. A measure of its popularity is how demand for the scholarships outstrips capacity. It's encouraging that the House subcommittee on financial services and general government, which will hold the hearing, is chaired by Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), a true believer in the importance of home rule.However, those on the left side of the political spectrum want to see the program end.
Of all the arguments against vouchers, the most pernicious is that they hurt public schools. Never mind that D.C. public schools benefit financially from the funding formula. Public schools failed long before vouchers were even conceived of, and no less an authority than D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee dismisses that argument out of hand. As she told the Wall Street Journal, "I would never, as long as I am in this role, do anything to limit another parent's ability to make a choice for their child. Ever." Let's hope Congress feels that same compunction.
UPDATE: Holy Avalanche Batman! Welcome Corner and Michelle Malkin readers. If you're interested in the comings and goings of the District's school system (and trust me, there's never a dull moment around here) please feel free to stay and poke around.