Congress Goes to Bat for DC Students Most in Need

In a true show of support for families and students in the District of Columbia, the US House of Representatives today voted to restore and expand the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). The program provides scholarships for some of DC’s poorest families, allowing them to choose the school that best fits their children’s needs. The program was created in 2003, but was discontinued by the Obama Administration, even after years of demonstrated success by multiple measures.

“Opportunity Scholarships empower parents with a choice and offer their kids a lifeline out of their failing neighborhood schools,” said Jeanne Allen, President of The Center for Education Reform. “Recognizing that the years necessary to improve DC’s public schools still allow for a generation of students to slip through the cracks, the House made certain that those most in need of educational opportunities can have them.”

The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is one part of a comprehensive plan to improve education in Washington, DC. Passage of The SOAR Act by Congress would provide supplemental educational funding to the District of Columbia for Opportunity Scholarships and the DC Public Schools, both traditional and charter. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

“Support for school choice is stronger in many states today because of the demonstrated success of the DC Opportunity Scholarship in raising student achievement, graduation rates and parental satisfaction,” said Jeanne Allen. “Governors and legislators across America are taking to heart the lessons learned from DC’s bold school choice initiative and working to offer options in their states. It’s time to make sure DC families continue to have the same opportunity.”

The Center for Education Reform drives the creation of better educational opportunities for all children. CER changes laws, minds and cultures to allow good schools to flourish.