Saving the D.C. vouchers

Patrick Gibbons

Virginia Walden Ford, the executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, sent out an e-mail blast urging Americans to help save the D.C. Scholarship Program. The D.C. voucher program offered low-income children scholarships to attend private schools. Research showed that students attending the private schools with the vouchers had higher levels of achievement in reading than students who did not recieve a scholarship and remained in the public schools. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress have attempted to terminate the program.

She writes,

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program – the nation’s only federally-funded school voucher program – is about to be eliminated by Congress.

We have fought tirelessly together for the past six months to save this program, generating more grassroots support for a school choice program than ever before in our nation’s history.

And, while some elected officials who previously opposed the program have indicated that they support the program’s extension, I’m worried that the winds are blowing in the wrong direction. This program is now in serious jeopardy – and we’re not talking a matter of months, we’re talking weeks or days before decisions are made.

When I started fighting for D.C. school choice more than a decade ago, I did it because I was worried that my son, William, would fall through the cracks and fail at our local D.C. public high school – which was crumbling. I was a single mom, and I didn’t have the money to send William to a private school. Thankfully, a neighbor sponsored his tuition. His life changed. He thrived in school, and went on to serve our country in Iraq. After that, I joined to fight to bring school choice to low-income families.

To learn more about her effort to save the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, e-mail her at or visit the website: