The Bush administration’s new budget request includes a $32 million increase for D.C. schools. The boost is proposed to support Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s efforts to bring long-overdue reforms to the city’s struggling public schools. The budget also proposes increasing federal funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, which is helping 1,900 low-income students attend private school this year.
On Sunday, the Washington Post urged Congress to approve the budget request—including maintaining the school voucher program—in a good editorial. Here’s what they had to say about school vouchers:
Congress will need to approve the funding proposal, and it’s important that members don’t let politics or ideology derail the needed reforms. We think here of the $18 million the administration is earmarking for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to students to attend private school. Leading Democrats have made no secret of their dislike of vouchers, but this program gives low-income parents educational options and it is operating successfully for scores of children. Opponents should think twice before they try to interrupt the education of these children.