Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the same Sen. Durbin who put the language in last February’s Omnibus spending bill to eliminate the D.C.Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP), now says he might be open to reauthorizing the program.
I have to work with my colleagues if this is going to be reauthorized, which it might be,” said Mr. Durbin at an appropriations hearing Tuesday morning. He also said that he had visited one of the participating private schools and understood that “many students are getting a good education from the program.
Talk of reauthorizing the program represents a 180 degree turn for Sen. Durbin, one of the program’s harshest critics to date. Sen. Durbin’s acknowledgement of the program’s positive impact puts him among a number of others who were originally skeptical about the program but later admitted the educational benefit of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
The residents of the District of Columbia want this program. 70% of D.C. residents want the program to continue and a majority of the D.C. City Council members have signed a letter asking the program to be reauthorized. Now, it is up to Congress to do the will of the people and reauthorize it.