With regard to public schools, the same story seems to repeat itself again and again across the country.
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has so far funded private-school tuition for nearly 5,000 students, 95% of whom are African-American. They attend religious schools, music and arts schools, even elite college-prep schools, writes Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal. And the results are impressive:
An Education Department-funded study at the University of Arkansas recently found that graduation rates rose 21 percentage points—to 91%, from 70%—for students awarded the scholarship vouchers through a lottery, compared with a control group of those who applied for, but didn’t get the scholarships. For all D.C. public schools, the high-school graduation rate is closer to an abysmal 56%.
So who could be opposed to success like this? President Obama for one. He has proposed eliminating the paltry $20 million scholarship fund from the federal government’s $4 trillion budget. Whereas President Bush invited several of the parents of these children to the White House, President Obama refuses to even meet with them. In addition, the program is:
opposed by almost every liberal group, even the NAACP, and nearly every Democrat in Congress—including Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress but opposes a program that benefits her own constituents.