Obama’s Budget Ends Funding for D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Originally Published: The Foundry

by -  February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

The Obama administration is once again standing with education special interest groups and against low-income children in Washington, D.C. His 2013 budget request zeros out funding for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was revived last year thanks to the hard work of Speaker John Boehner and the thousands of D.C. families who received scholarships to attend a private school of choice.

In 2009, Senator Dick Durbin included a provision in an omnibus spending bill prohibiting any new children from receiving scholarships unless the program was fully reauthorized by Congress and authorized by the D.C. City Council. The make-up of Congress in 2009 was such that a reauthorization of the voucher program was highly unlikely, meaning Durbin’s provision effectively doomed the program, since no new children were allowed to receive scholarships.

But in April 2011, Speaker John Boehner forced President Obama’s hand during heated budget negotiations, securing the restoration and expansion of the D.C. OSP. Families were elated. Once again, children would have the opportunity apply for scholarships to attend a private school of their choice, providing them a lifeline out of the underperforming and often dangerous D.C. Public Schools.

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