D.C. Vouchers Waiting for a Better Day

Jennifer Marshall /

“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain is supposed to have said. Rumors about the demise of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP) would come as a similar surprise to more than a thousand scholarship recipients in Washington, D.C., who are attending schools of their choice this fall.

It’s true that the DCOSP is in survival mode, but it remains alive to fight another day. Neither the Obama Administration nor this Congress has dared snatch away current students’ scholarships, and the real battle for the program’s future lies ahead in 2011 with a likely more sympathetic Congress.

The fiscal year 2010 omnibus appropriations bill provided $12 million in scholarships for current students, but the program’s opponents in Congress succeeded in barring new students.

Meanwhile, the President has failed to speak up for the kind of educational opportunity from which he himself benefited (as a scholarship recipient at an elite private school in Hawaii) and from which his daughters currently benefit (as students in a top D.C. private school thanks to the wise choice of parents with means). As Bill McGurn writes in today’s Wall Street Journal: (more…)