Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is out with a new video that highlights the significance of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides low-income students with a scholarship to attend a private school. Today the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the SOAR Act, which restores funding that President Obama and Democrats eliminated.
Boehner’s video highlights the congressional testimony of Lesly Alvarez, an eight-grade student who is benefiting from a scholarship at Sacred Heart School. Lesly shared her story about the program before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this month.
“The Opportunity Scholarship Program has been a miracle for me and hundreds of other students just like me,” Lesly testified. She pleaded with the program’s critics to give other students like her a chance to escape the crime-ridden and under-performing public schools in the District of Columbia.
The measure is expected to easily win approval in the Republican-controlled House, but the Senate will present a bigger obstacle, despite having Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) as the bill’s lead champion. Boehner acknowledged that fact in the video. However, he said there’s no better issue to achieve bipartisan education reform.
“Despite its proven success, the program faces an uncertain future,” Boehner said. “You see, the education establishment in America is opposed to greater competition in our school systems. They regard it as a threat when in reality it’s an opportunity to raise the bar.”