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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Very Interesting

By Steven Taylor @ 8:33 am

D.C. School Voucher Bill Passes in House by 1 Vote

The House of Representatives approved the nation’s first federally funded voucher program by a single vote last night, sending the Senate a plan that would provide $10 million in private school tuition grants to at least 1,300 D.C. children next year.

Although if it was that close in the House, one wonders if it has a prayer in the Senate.

Indeed, the article concludes with the following:

In the Senate, Democrats debated their strategy on the voucher issue, which now appears unlikely to reach the Senate floor before next week at the earliest.

Norton said that instead of waging a filibuster, Senate Democrats would hold an open debate on the merits of the voucher concept.

But a Senate Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the strategy remained undecided. While Democrats want to make clear that they seek an open debate, the aide said, “all tools remain available to Democrats to defeat this legislation.”

Filed under: US Politics

Click here to go to the main page.


  1. It AMAZES me that their are so many black members of congress that would refuse to give black children an education.

    They are willing to keep these kids in a failing school system so they can back the union.- That’s just great, sacrifice a child for a union thug.

    I’m not a big fan of political games like were played last night but this time I support it.


    Comment by Paul — Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 10:28 am

  2. Gosh, Paul, I wasn’t aware these vouchers were only available to black children.

    Seriously, though, this voucher demo is a cruel hoax. It pays up to $7500 in a voucher in a city where the average private school tuition is $14,000 per year. If you’re living near the povert line, the difference between the voucher and the tuition might as well be a million dollars.

    Moreover, the number of slots in DC private schools is very limited. Do you believe a Gonzaga or a Sidwell Friends is going to choose a kid whose parents live near the poverty line over some kid whose folks are high-priced K Street lawyers and can afford to lavish donations on the school?

    In the end, this will hurt far many more children than it will help.

    Comment by JadeGold — Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 11:03 am

  3. “Seriously, though, this voucher demo is a cruel hoax. It pays up to $7500 in a voucher in a city where the average private school tuition is $14,000 per year. ”

    Is that a true statement that the average tuition is $14,000? I would tend to doubt it. Sure, Sidwell Friends and other prep schools are going to be in that or better, but in most areas you can still get a good Catholic or other religous school slot for $5,000/year, sometimes even less. Though I’m not familiar with the DC school environment, I’d be surprised if the the religous schools were charging $14K. Also cottage (hybrid of home and private) schools will spring up to take advantage of this. My guess is that there will be many more than 1,300 applications for this cash should it actually become available.

    Comment by Buckland — Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 1:05 pm

  4. Gonzaga is a “good Catholic school” for boys; its tuition is over $14K. I can list about 10 Catholic schools with tuitions in the $9000 and higher ranges.

    Washington Int’l-a very fine school, BTW-has a tuition for $8500. But that’s the half day, pre-K program.

    To be sure, there are private schools in the DC area with tuitions under $14K but they tend be located outside the city. And private schools don’t provide transportation.

    But what if you’re not interested in your child getting a Catholic education? And how do you address the fact many of these schools have waiting lists and are very competitive in their admissions process?

    Comment by JadeGold — Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 4:22 pm

  5. What anti-voucher people tend to forget is:

    (1) if no one uses the vouchers to go to private schools because no one can actually afford them, then what harm is it to offer them? If you don’t want your kids to go to a Catholic school, then leave them in the public schools.

    (2) Won’t entrepreneurs start opening schools that offer an education for around $7,500? If that education is 1% better than the public schools, the kids win.

    (3) The public school kids don’t get hurt because each voucher check that leaves the system is accompanied by a student that doesn’t need to be educated by the system.

    (4) JadeGold is right. All the D.C. public school students aren’t black. Only 84.6%. One might think that, compared to the population of the country as a whole, black students might benefit disproportionately.

    Comment by pathos — Wednesday, September 10, 2003 @ 10:15 pm

  6. To point(1): money offered as vouchers-even if unused-comes out of public school budgets. So, public schools and its students are hurt. Second, if it is truly your desire to see poor children receive a quality education, why wouldn’t you offer vouchers which pay 100% of a child’s tuition cost? And how you address the needs of poor special needs children?

    The plain fact is the pro-voucher movement isn’t really about trying to provide poor kids with a quality education as much as it is a political ploy.

    Point(2): Thus far, for-profit educational companies have an abysmal record. And what is needed is educators, not entrepreneurs. And what of rural areas? Do you think entrepreneurs are going to be clamoring to start private schools on reservation lands or in remote rural areas?

    Comment by JadeGold — Friday, September 12, 2003 @ 7:27 am

  7. If you don’t realize that the worst performing schools in D.C. are overwhelmingly black then you are more clueless than I thought.

    Comment by Paul — Friday, September 12, 2003 @ 7:58 pm

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