[UPDATE]: I am, of course, remiss in not pointing this story out from last week.
(Via AoSHQ) I got some critical – and instantly sent to spam – commentary after I posted this and this on the pending death of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. While I’m sure that the writers of said spam were of course very incensed at my posts, I am forced to admit that I was wrong about something about them: I was working under the assumption that publicity would at least keep this program alive. Particularly since the private school that the Obamas themselves send their kids to has students that would be affected by this program.
Silly me. What’s a bunch of African-American kids, versus the teachers’ union? Especially in this administration?
Politics is driving the destruction of the District’s school voucher program.
EDUCATION SECRETARY Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools. The abrupt decision — made a week after 200 families had been told that their children were being awarded scholarships for the coming fall — comes despite a new study showing some initial good results for students in the program and before the Senate has had a chance to hold promised hearings. For all the talk about putting children first, it’s clear that the special interests that have long opposed vouchers are getting their way.
Officials who manage the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program sent letters this week to parents notifying them that the scholarships of up to $7,500, were being rescinded because of the decision by the Education Department. Citing the political uncertainty surrounding vouchers, a spokesperson for Mr. Duncan told us that it is not in the best interest of students and their parents to enroll them in a program that may end a year from now. Congress conditioned funding beyond the 2009-10 school year on reauthorization by Congress and approval by the D.C. Council. By presuming the program dead — and make no mistake, that’s the insidious effect of his bar on new enrollment — Mr. Duncan makes it even more difficult for the program to get the fair hearing it deserves.
I swear to God, there ought to be a law that public servants should be forced to send their kids to public schools. Unfortunately, that’d probably be deemed a violation of their civil rights.
PS: I don’t really give a tinker’s dam what anybody’s rationalization is this week for being all right about denying minority kids scholarships, so don’t bother. Just rejoice in the fact that an administration policy made some conservatives angry; in fact, for a lot of you that’ll make it a twofer.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.