The House today voted to reimpose a costly school voucher program in the District of Columbia. The program, which stopped accepting new students in 2009, was found by the Department of Education to be ineffective at raising student achievement. Its reinstatement, which would cost federal taxpayers $100 million over five years, is opposed by DC’s elected leadership, including the city’s mayor and nonvoting delegate in Congress.
“While Republicans in Congress try to cut millions of dollars from public education programs in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility,’ they are positively eager to pour $100 million into an ineffective voucher program that raises troubling constitutional issues and that DC doesn’t even want,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Study after study has shown that the voucher program has done nothing to help DC’s kids learn – the main beneficiaries are the religious institutions that receive funding that would be better spent on public schools, and Republican members of Congress who receive a talking point for their base. House Republicans need to stop using DC’s kids as pawns in their culture war, and start working to fix the budget crisis that they claim to be so concerned about.”