According to the Washington Examiner, “President Obama said his daughters would not receive the same quality education in D.C. public schools as they get at their elite private school.” His daughters currently attend Sidwell Friends School, a private, Quaker-affiliated school at a cost of about $30,000 per year. That’s fine; I have no problem with President Obama seeking the best education available for his daughters, but why shouldn’t every family have that choice?
They did, before Congress and the Obama administration destroyed the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. The program granted vouchers and allowed underprivileged children in Washington, D.C. to escape to local, private schools. Students enrolled in the program had a graduation rate of 91%, well beyond their counterparts in the D.C. Public School system. But what about cost? The Opportunity Scholarship program educated students for significantly less cost to taxpayers than a comparable tenure in public education.
It costs less; students get a better education; graduation rates skyrocket. Shouldn’t this program be extended to all students? Obama should work with Congress to make the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship available to every student who applies for the program. Of course, that assumes the students are this administration’s primary concern. Unfortunately, it isn’t so. There is only one group harmed by the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship: teachers’ unions and the ineffective teachers they defend. And unfortunately for these kids, union votes and campaign support mean more to President Obama than their future.