Democrats try to kill school choice in D.C.

Patrick Gibbons

Breaking news from Dan Lips and Robert Enlow, writing for National Review: Democrats have a $450 billion omnibus bill which has a provision to eliminate the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program—a voucher program which helps 1,700 low-income students attend private schools of their choice.

Lips and Enlow say, "Angered scholarship parents may wonder why Congress is moving so quickly to end this $14 million program just as the federal government is showering money on Wall Street and the auto companies."

So after showering big corporations will billions upon billions of dollars, Democrats in congress seek to take a miserly $14 million scholarship program away from low-income children in the nation's worst school district?

Welfare for the rich is good governance, but assisting underserved children in getting a better education is not?

Politicians serve and assist concentrated special interest groups, not parents and certainly not children. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program helps low-income students leave the dismally failing (though not underfunded: D.C. schools spend over $24,000 per student) public schools, to attend a private school of their parents' choice.

While Obama's presidential salary allows him to afford Sidwell Friends for his daughters, the vast majority of Americans can't afford private school tuition—some don't even earn a yearly wage that matches the tuition of elite schools like Sidwell Friends. That leaves most Americans stuck in the government-run public school monopoly—and since when were monopolies good for consumers?

The closest approximation to a parental-choice program in Nevada public education—the state's fewer than 30 charter schools—is exceptionally poor, thanks to powerful special interest groups that have long stood in the way of progress and reform. While Sen. Barbara Cegavske and Assemblyman Ed Goedhart both have offerred parental choice bills that would challenge the status quo and empower parents, the question is: How far will these bills go? And how far will special interest groups go to protect the destructive status quo?

Will Sen. Horsford help push for pro-parental-choice education reform?  Such programs are extremely popular among underserved African Americans nationwide.

It will be interesting to see where loyalties lie in Nevada, now that Democrats in Congress have exposed their true colors: welfare for the rich, but the abysmally performing public school monopolies for the poor.