Friday night, Speaker John Boehner secured a huge win for D.C.’s schoolchildren. In a vital triumph for low-income families in the nation’s capital, Speaker Boehner succeeded in reauthorizing the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in the long-term continuing resolution. Over at National Review Online, Kathryn Lopez writes that “John Boehner just walked Barack Obama into being a civil-rights leader.”
For the past two years, low-income families in D.C. have been fighting to regain access to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program after it was placed on life support by Senator Richard Durbin. While families have been fighting, President Obama watched as the last Congress phased-out the OSP despite its success at raising student achievement and graduation rates. And after nearly two years of fighting to regain access to schools that work and are safe, scholarship families late Friday night won their futures.
The Students for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR), sponsored by Speaker Boehner, was included in its entirety in the long-term continuing resolution. The program will now be authorized for a full five years, ensuring low-income students in D.C. have access to a quality education and removing any uncertainty those students already in the program felt.
Speaker Boehner’s success at getting the D.C. OSP included in the long-term CR has ensured children in the District will have access to scholarships for several years, and guarantees those already receiving scholarships that they will not be thrown back into the poorest-performing public schools in the country. It’s a long-awaited and much-deserved victory for D.C. families.