House Democrats Want To Kick Sasha & Malia’s Classmate Out Of School

The Washington Post takes the Democrats to task for playing political games with the District of Columbia’s school voucher program:

REP. DAVID R. Obey (Wis.) and other congressional Democrats should spare us their phony concern about the children participating in the District’s school voucher program. If they cared for the future of these students, they wouldn’t be so quick as to try to kill the program that affords low-income, minority children a chance at a better education. Their refusal to even give the program a fair hearing makes it critical that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) seek help from voucher supporters in the Senate and, if need be, President Obama.

Last week, the Democrat-controlled House passed a spending bill that spells the end, after the 2009-10 school year, of the federally funded program that enables poor students to attend private schools with scholarships of up to $7,500. A statement signed by Mr. Obey as Appropriations Committee chairman that accompanied the $410 billion spending package directs D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to “promptly take steps to minimize potential disruption and ensure smooth transition” for students forced back into the public schools.

We would like Mr. Obey and his colleagues to talk about possible “disruption” with Deborah Parker, mother of two children who attend Sidwell Friends School because of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. “The mere thought of returning to public school frightens me,” Ms. Parker told us as she related the opportunities — such as a trip to China for her son — made possible by the program. Tell her, as critics claim, that vouchers don’t work, and she’ll list her children’s improved test scores, feeling of safety and improved motivation.

Sidwell Friends, of course, is the school that President Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia attend. It’s also the school that Chelsea Clinton attended while her father was President.

Apparently, it’s good enough for the children of Presidents, but too good for the children of inner-city Washington, D.C.

  • http:hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com VRB

    It is probably was a scholarship and not a voucher, that’s more responsible for her child being at Sidwell Friends.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    The scholarship program ARE the vouchers they’re talking about eliminating

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  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    VRB, you may not know this, but the cost of educating a child in the DC public school system is much higher than the cost of sending them to a private school. The DC system admits to spending $11,000 per student, although I have read some reports that the true amount of spending is $20,000 per student (apparently much of the overhead is left out of the official figures).

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  • http:hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com VRB

    tarran,
    But the voucher is only $7000. That’s the money in the parents hands. If a parent would send a child to a comparable school in Philly, they’d have to ante up over $10,000 more.
    What’s the tuition of Sidwell Fiends? see here
    http://www.sidwell.edu/admissions/tuition.asp

    You all need to get real.