Unless Congress acts soon or the D.C. government decides to assume responsibility, the voucher program, which has benefited so many students since its inception in 2004, is in grave danger. The Obama administration closed the program to new students; children currently enrolled, while supposedly assured of getting vouchers until they graduate from high school, face uncertainty as the program's administrator pulls out. This is exactly what the program's chief antagonists, the teachers unions, want; the National Education Association lobbied fiercely against Mr. Lieberman's amendment. Given that a rigorous, federally mandated study confirmed the program's effectiveness and that local leaders such as D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee have supported it, we understand why Mr. Reid sits on his hands. What possible explanation could Democrats devise for killing something that has been so crucial in the lives of thousands of poor D.C. children? How would it look? No, better to do nothing and hope the issue goes away.
Mr. Lieberman vowed from the Senate floor not to give up. He said he will look for other bills that could be subject to his reauthorization amendment. We hope he succeeds in making the Senate own up to its responsibility.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
WaPo says Congress should reauthorize vouchers
In today's edition the editorial board of the Washington Post urges Congress to reauthorize the District's federally funded private school voucher program.