Senate Rejects Extension of DC Voucher Plan

The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have continued sending taxpayer money to the District of Columbia school voucher program. The legislation, which was not reviewed by any Senate committee, was defeated by a vote of 58 to 39.

"Congress deserves an A-plus for this decision," said People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert. "School vouchers have always been about ideology, not education," said Kolbert.

"We've seen time and again that vouchers aren't the answer to problems in our educational system. Every child deserves an excellent education so I'm glad to see that the President's budget gives more resources to public school students and their schools, instead of to risky, unaccountable private school voucher schemes."

Since its inception, the voucher program has failed to produce substantial academic gains for participating students. Even a recent Department of Education evaluation confirmed that the program has not been shown to provide any "substantial differences" for voucher students over those in public schools.

"This vote is bad news for the Religious Right, and good news for public school students," Kolbert added.

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People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) sent letters in opposition to DC vouchers. They are available here (PFAW) and here (AAMIA).

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