My colleague Rob Bluey wrote the other day about the cruel move by Congressional Democrats to kick nearly 2,000 D.C. students out of private schools and back into the city's failed public schools. Today the Washington Post calls Democrats out for their cruelty and their fealty to the unions:
REP. DAVID R. Obey (Wis.) and other congressional Democrats should spare us their phony concern about the children participating in the District's school voucher program. If they cared for the future of these students, they wouldn't be so quick as to try to kill the program that affords low-income, minority children a chance at a better education. Their refusal to even give the program a fair hearing makes it critical that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) seek help from voucher supporters in the Senate and, if need be, President Obama.
Last week, the Democrat-controlled House passed a spending bill that spells the end, after the 2009-10 school year, of the federally funded program that enables poor students to attend private schools with scholarships of up to $7,500. A statement signed by Mr. Obey as Appropriations Committee chairman that accompanied the $410 billion spending package directs D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to "promptly take steps to minimize potential disruption and ensure smooth transition" for students forced back into the public schools.
We would like Mr. Obey and his colleagues to talk about possible "disruption" with Deborah Parker, mother of two children who attend Sidwell Friends School because of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. "The mere thought of returning to public school frightens me," Ms. Parker told us as she related the opportunities -- such as a trip to China for her son -- made possible by the program. Tell her, as critics claim, that vouchers don't work, and she'll list her children's improved test scores, feeling of safety and improved motivation.
Democrats tell us that conservatives are cruel and heartless; that we show no compassion towards the children of America. They tell us that when conservatives run the government, they have tried to deny kids a good education. They tell us that in the increasingly competitive world marketplace, kids need a good education now more than ever. Yet just weeks after taking charge of both Congress and the White House, they're kicking thousands of kids out of the best schools they'll ever see, and forcing them back into some of the nation's worst. And they're doing so without even giving these kids the benefit of a hearing.
As Rob pointed out, it's clear that Washington Democrats are owned lock, stock and barrel by the teachers' unions -- which would rather not have to compete against private schools for the right to educate your children. And they have no problem doing this to a cohort of kids who are 99 percent minority.
Do you suppose they would have been so cruel and cavalier to the kids of their limousine liberal supporters in San Francisco or Boston?