It is distressingly clear that congressional leaders never really meant it when they said there would be a fair hearing to determine the future of the District’s federally funded school voucher program. How else to explain language tucked away in the mammoth omnibus spending bill that would effectively kill the Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program?
They note that “deep in the folds of the thousand-page 2010 spending bill, which wraps together six bills” is language that will keep funding for current students but shut the door behind them to new ones and add on “onerous requirements about testing and site visits.” And the Post names names, singling out Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Rep. Jose E. Serrano, who “have been, at best, disingenuous about their intentions, thus placing the program’s advocates in their current no-win situation.” But who’s missing from the list? Why the president, of course. He talked a good game about school reform but hasn’t lifted a finger to keep the school-voucher program in operation.
The Post‘s editors slam Congress: “If Congress, no doubt egged on by its allies in the teachers unions, is so intent on killing this program, it should be upfront in accepting the responsibility.” But the paper’s well-founded complaint is equally applicable to the White House, which has done virtually nothing on this or any other education issue that would challenge the educational establishment. It seems that there are some more kids in D.C. who will now suffer the consequences as a result.